Barriers to communication

Barriers to communication

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Page 1: Barriers to communication

Barriers to communication

Page 2: Barriers to communication

Negative aspects of communication

1. Meanings sent are not always meanings received.No two minds have identical filters/

storehouse of words, gestures/ facial expressions, any other symbol.

2. Meaning is in the mind Not in the words/ symbols used Receiver looks for the meanings he


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3. Symbols are imperfect (variation in speed/grace and style).

4. Communicators vary in their ability to convey thoughts.

(difficult to find/select symbols).

5. No common symbols are similar in two cultures.

(ok symbol, handshake,…. )

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Barriers to communication

I. Physical barriersII. Cross-cultural barriers.III.Semantic barriers

(words/language)IV. Psychological barriersV. Organizational barriers

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Physical barriers

Noise i. Physical noise (outside disturbance)ii. Psychological noise (inattentiveness)iii. Written noise (bad handwriting/typing)iv. Visual noise (late arrival of employees)

Distance Improper time Inadequate/overload of information

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Cross Cultural Barriers

Why communicate with cross culture?

1. Globalisation2. Ability to work more harmoniously3. Get good people despite their differences4. To be efficient both within and outside

the company.5. Create good relationship across cultures

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Eg – cross culture symbols1. OK = - terribly rude in Russia,Germany,Brazil- means Money in Japan- will get you in trouble from Nigeria to


2 Eye contact =- to elders in Indonesia is disrespect3 Smile =- Weakness in Africa (means to bargain)

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Factors of relationship (7)1. Time: punctuality

Monochronic Polychronic

2. Space 3. Odors4. Frankness5. Intimacy and relationships6. Values7. Expression of emotions

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Time (punctuality)Monochronic - western planned use of time always meet deadlines on schedulePolychronic - relaxed being late is assumed to

be busy slow progress in business

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Space North Americans - space is their right maintain - two feet


Arabians - close to each othersSouth Americans - close to each othersOthers - (may) jostle

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N Americans - neutralize body odors

Some Asians - feel the presence by smelling

(“Breath the breath” – an act of friendship)

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Frankness Americans - explicit/blunt (high context culture) - share all

background informationGermans & Israleis - more blunt/sharpAsians - implicit/not to offend (low context culture) - extract limited

background info(may appear evasive/roundabout)Chinese - abruptly end the call

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Intimacy and relationshipSocial class exists in every cultureView of superior – subordinate relationship

changesRole of women is diff in high and low context

cultureValues differ

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Expression and emotions

Laughter sorrow ,….

Use of terms --- dog/swine,…..

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Semantic barriers

Different languagesDifferent context for words and

symbolsPoor vocabulary

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semantic(Language - most important and

powerful tool of communication)

1. Many words have multiple meanings

eg – charge, check, ring, minute,

wind, present,…

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Semantic (contd)2. Different pronunciation while

speaking eg – access : excess flour : flower cite : site week : weak

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Semantic (contd)

3. Different descriptions

Beautiful, uglyGood, bad

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Just for thought!

Meaning is in people Not in words

Those who speak do not know Those who know do not speak

- Japenese

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Psychological barriersStatusAttitude Perceptions Poor listeningEgotismEmotions (excited, nervous,

confused,…)Resistance to change

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Organizational barriers

Rules and regulations (rigid/flexible)Hierarchial relationshipWrong choice of channel

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7 C’s of CommunicationFrancis J Berdin

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1.Candidness - unbiased, sincere

2.Clarity - words, intonation

3.Completeness – planned & structured

4.Conciseness - avoid repetition of words

5.Concreteness - definite ,use active voice

6.Correctness - spelling, language, facts

7.Courtesy - decorum, respect

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How to Overcome barriers1. Improve communication skills (very important

as you go higher)

2. By maintaining good working conditions (eg- soundproof room) - Physical barriers

3. Careful use of language, words of clear meaning, simple sentences – semantic barriers

4. Make conscious efforts , training,… - psychological barriers

5. Streamline and strengthen the flow of communication

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contd6. Effective listening

7. Use proper medium and channels of communication

8. Use appropriate language

9. Create conducive environment

10.Encourage open communication (MBWA – manage by walking around)

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Why do we listen?To find more information

Learn about people

Improve relations

Obtain suggestions and ideas

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body lan-


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Reasons for ineffective listening

Distraction of mindWandering attentionPlanning a replyLack of managementTendency to critsise

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Self-centeredAvoid difficultiesEmotional blocks(deaf spots)ImpatiencePoor healthExcitement/anxietyExternal noise


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executive listening

writing readinglistening speaking

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4 steps of listening

1. Learning (if you can repeat what

you hear)

2. Interpretation (as per listener’s


body language)

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3. Evaluation (listener decides what to

do with recd info, believe/not


4. Response (words/body language)

Steps of listening - contd