Barriers to Communication

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Page 1: Barriers to  Communication


Charmein P. Jakosalem

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Communication Communication is defined as

a process by which we assign and convey meaning in an attempt to create shared understanding. This process requires a vast repertoire of skills in intrapersonal and interpersonal processing, listening, observing, speaking, questioning, analyzing, and evaluating. Use of these processes is developmental and transfers to all areas of life: home, school, community, work, and beyond.

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Effective communication is

very important, as the free

exchange of ideas can help

improve the ideas and clarify

any misunderstandings. There

are many different items that

can present

barriers to


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1. Physical barriers

Physical barriers can make it difficult to communicate effectively. These are due to the nature of environment. For example in business, this can happen when a company opens up multiple physical locations and needs their employees in those different locations to work together.

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It can be even more difficult if a company does not have up-to-date teleconferencing and video conferencing software to allow those employees to communicate with those in the other locations.

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2.Language barriers The inability to converse in a language that is known by both the sender and receiver is the greatest barrier to effective communication. Typically, little communication occurs unless one or both parties learns a new language which requires an investment of time and effort.

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When a person uses inappropriate

words while conversing or writing, it could lead to misunderstanding between the sender and a receiver. The use of different languages , vocabulary, accent, dialect represents a national/regional barriers . The use of difficult or inappropriate words/poorly explained or misunderstood messages can result in confusion.

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These include age, education , gender ,social status, economic position, cultural background, temperament, health, beauty, popularity, religion , political

belief, ethics, values, motives, assumptions, aspiration,

rules/regulation, standards, priorities can separate one

pers0n to0 another and create a barrier.

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These include age, education , gender ,social status, economic position, cultural background, temperament, health, beauty, popularity, religion , political belief, ethics, values, motives, assumptions, aspiration, rules/regulation, standards, priorities can separate one pers0n to0 another and create a barrier.

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Cultural barriers to communication, which often arise where individuals in one social group have developed different norms, values, or behaviours to individuals associated with another group.

Cultures shape the way we think and behave.

They can be seen as both shaping and being shaped by our established patterns of communication.

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4.Emotional barriers

Emotional barriers are those which affect people the most especially those with problems.

In emotional barrier there might be possibility that when you receive any message you are emotionally blocked and cannot interpret the meaning of any specific message because you are emotionally blocked at that time. So this problem can occur with both sides with receiver and sender also.


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Emotional Barriers are the major category of barriers that may make effective communication difficult. These barriers are basically characterizes by suspicion, mistrust and fear. While a little amount of fear and lack of trust might be necessary, excess of these things is not good and prevents one from doing a lot of things including difficulty in communicating.

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This barrier relates to an individual's state of mind when she is communicating. If you are in a bad mood, your communication skills are compromised, and you may be unable or unwilling to respond to a colleague or manager in an effective manner.

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5. Individual barriers Effective communication in the workplace is one of the foundations of efficient teamwork and accurate results. However, there are a number of barriers to communication that employees experience on an individual level, whether it has to do with perceptions of their own skills and abilities or a reaction to the personalities and values of those around them.

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6. Gender barriers Relationships respect, workplace authority

and education are common ways men and women are pitted against each other. Communication, however, is the common denominator in all of those situations, as it's the way both sexes are able to get their point across in any platform. Overcoming barriers in gender communication isn't simple but can be made clear with a little patience and understanding.

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Men and women have a history of being painted into a box of stereotypical personalities from childhood. Boys are brawny and brash, girls are giddy and gossipy. Boys grow up as men who have been illustrated as impatient, unemotional, detached enigmas whose emotions are seemingly untouchable. Women are portrayed as wearing their emotions on their sleeves and coddling everyone and everything they come in contact with. Basing gender communication on childhood fantasies creates a battle of the sexes that can foster barriers.


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It has been demonstrated in studies that women communicate more on a regular basis than men do. Though both sexes have both kinds of communicators, women are more likely to be right-brain communicators -- abstract and intuitive. Men are more likely to be left-brain communicators -- linear and logical. Depending on your own makeup, this could be a barrier. Both men and women have to learn how to communicate in a way that allows both sexes to receive and understand the message.

http://www.ehow.com/facts_5459480_types- barriers-communication.html

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7.Lock of subject knowledge

If a person who sends a message lacks of subject knowledge then he may not be able to convey his message clearly. The receiver could misunderstand his message , and this could lead to a barrier to effective communication

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If you are using technical terms or other language your audience does not understand, you will miss the mark. Even an audience that should be sympathetic to you could end up providing negative feedback because you chose to speak only to your own level of knowledge or experience rather than considering theirs.

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8. Stress

When a person is under immense stress, he may find it difficult to understand the message, leading to communication distortion. At the time of stress, our psychological frame of mind depends on our beliefs, experiences, goals and values. Thus we fail to realize the essence of communication.

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9. Attitudinal barriers Limitation in

physical and mental ability, intelligence, understanding, pre convinced notions, and distrusted source divides the attention and create mechanical barriers which affects the attitude and opinion.

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If the length of the communication is long, or the medium selected is inappropriate, the communication might break up.

It can also be a result of the inter –personal conflicts between the sender and receiver.

Lack of interest to communicate.

Lack of information sharing or access problems which can hamper the channel and affect the clarity, accuracy and effectiveness.

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