Communication Barriers


A number of barriers distort effective communication. These include:

1. Filtering: The sender purposely filters information so that it will be more favorable. Filtering takes place for 2 reasons.

a) Because of fear of conveying bad news.

b) To please the receiver.

2. Selective perception: The receiver selectively sees c hears the message based on his/her needs, experience, background and other personal characteristics.

3. Information overload: People have only a limited capacity for processing data. When the amount of information we have to process exceeds our capacity, it results in information overload. When too much information is provided, people tend to select, ignore or forgot information.

4. Emotions: Emotions of the receiver at the time of communication will influence how he understands the message. The same message received when we are angry is understood differently from when we are happy.

5. Language: Language is a barrier to effective communication. Words mean different things to different people.

6. Communication apprehension: Lots of people fear speaking in front of a group. People who suffer from communication apprehension experience tension and anxiety while communicating.



Overcoming Communication Barriers

Both sender and receiver should put efforts to overcome the barriers.

A sender can overcome barriers by using the following methods:

1.  Using appropriate language: - The sender should use appropriate language, simple words so that receiver can understand correctly.

2.  Understanding the receiver: - The sender should study how the message will be interpreted by the receiver before communicating.

3.  Developing confidence in the receiver: - A receiver receives the message effectively if he has confidence in the sender. By mastering the subject of communication, sender creates confidence in the receiver.

4.  Encouraging feedback: - Feedback helps the sender to know whether the receiver has understood the message or not.

5.  Using face to face communication: - Written communication is not as effective as face to face communication.

6.  Using repetition when necessary: - Complicated messages can be repeated so that the receiver understands it. However, unnecessary repetition can confuse the receiver.

7.  Using pictures: - The sender can use pictures or charts to make his message clear.

A receiver can overcome barriers by using the following methods:

1.  Effective listening: - Active listening in one way to overcome barriers. It needs hard work and effort to increase concentration on what the sender is communicating.

2.  Avoid judgment: - The receiver should not make any judgment about the sender. The judgment distorts the communication.

3.  Providing feedbacks: - The receiver should provide a true feedback about what he feels.

4.  Written communication: - This is in the form of memos, circular, notes, manuals, handbooks, letters, reports, etc.

Advantages:

1.  Suitable for lengthy communication.

2.  Suitable when the communicating parties are far from each other.

3.  It is used if the record has to be kept permanently.

4.  There is fewer chance of missing points.

5.   It is used for taking action against subordinated who disobey.

Disadvantages:

1.  There are greater chances of communication being misunderstood.

2.  It is time consuming.

3.  There is no scope for face to face discussion.

4.  It is difficult to maintain secrecy.

5.  It can lead to confusion.







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