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Barriers to communication

The most common barriers are:

Language can affect communications in several ways. Most obviously, if the person sending and the person receiving the communication are not both fluent in the language for the communication, whether written or oral, misinterpretations of the communication may occur. Similar misinterpretations and lack of understanding can occur if the language used by the person sending the communication is too technical or academic for the person receiving it. Many businesses and functions within businesses have their jargon,which is usedfluently by those in the business or function, but not by those outside. Indeed, such jargon often uses words that have other meanings in everyday language.

Atmosphere in which a communication is made can affect its effectiveness. For example, if the atmosphere is strained, and the person receiving the communication is nervous, perhaps afraid for their job, they are likely to look for hidden meanings in a communication – and will often find one that is not intended.

Physical barriers to effective communications come in many forms. Some affect the ability of a person to communicate normally, but physical barriers also include factors in the environment that may interfere with the communication. Physical barriers include noise in a factory where a meeting or conversation is taking place, interference on a telephone line and so on.

Timing of a communication is frequently important to its effectiveness. Notification of a meeting or other event, for example, should be given in sufficient time for people to arrange to be present and to prepare for the event. If an organization must make a decision about action to be taken on Friday, a report containing the results of research, which the organization needs, to enable it to make that decision, is of little use if it is not completed until the following Monday.



Communications skills - the importance of removing barriers:

Communication barriers can pop-up at every stage of the communication process (which consists of sender, message, channel, receiver, feedback and context - see the diagram below) and have the potential to create misunderstanding and confusion.

To be an effective communicator and to get your point across without misunderstanding and confusion, your goal should be to lessen the frequency of these barriers at each stage of this process with clear, concise, accurate, well-planned communications. We follow the process through below:


To establish yourself as an effective communicator, you must first establish credibility. In the business arena, this involves displaying knowledge of the subject, the audience and the context in which the message is delivered.

You must also know your audience (individuals or groups to which you are delivering your message). Failure to understand who you are communicating to, will result in delivering messages that are misunderstood.


Next, consider the message itself. Written, oral and nonverbal communications are affected by the sender’s tone, method of organization, validity of the argument, what is communicated and what is left out, as well as your individual style of communicating. Channel...

Messages are conveyed through channels, with verbal including face-to-face meetings, telephone and videoconferencing; and written including letters, emails, memos and reports.


These messages are delivered to an audience. Keep in mind, your audience also enters into the communication process with ideas and feelings that will undoubtedly influence their understanding of your message and their response. To be a successful communicator, you should consider these before delivering your message, acting appropriately.



Your audience will provide you with feedback, verbal and nonverbal reactions to your communicated message. Pay close attention to this feedback as it is crucial to ensuring the audience understood your message.


The situation in which your message is delivered is the context. This may include the surrounding environment or broader culture (i.e. corporate culture, international cultures, etc.).

Date: 2016-01-14; view: 942

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