Communication is basically considered to be one of the most crucial systems, which is of much importance to develop in all areas. It does not matter how good the communication system is, how well formed and well developed it is, barriers do occur within the communication systems, whether it is an organization, communication between the family members, social network, institution and so on. Barriers that take place within the communication systems are unplanned and unwanted. There are number of reasons due to which these barriers take place and knowing these reasons enables the organisation to be in a better positon to know how to tackle these barriers thus leading to effective communication and the attainment of oganisational goals.
Definition of Key terms
Communication can be defined as a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior.
Communication can be defined as the process of transmitting information and common understanding from one person to another (Keyton, 2011).
Language may act as a barrier to communication even when using the same language that is the terminology used may act as a barrier if not understood by the receiver of the message.Jargon can be defined the use of technical language to non-technical people. For example, a message that includes a lot of specialist jargon and abbreviations will not be understood by a receiver who is not familiar with the terminology used. For example people in the medical fraternity cannot communicate with people outside the medical fraternity using jargonic terms because people outside the medical fraternity may not understand the jargon being used.
Even when using the same language ,using the English language to stress out an idea to not so literate audience may hinder the flow of the message or no matter what kind of communication means is utilized, whether it is formal or informal, it is of much importance to make use of appropriate words, vocabulary and language; all kinds of communication should reflect decency. Language and vocabulary that is used in communication should be understandable to the audience; if a person speaks only English and a word is expressed in Spanish the receiver may not understand the word, for instance, if a receiver speaks only English, then it could be a possibility that he might have studied other languages such as Spanish or French.
However, to tackle language barriers take adequate care of your Tone, Language and way you are speaking. Messages should be shared in a simple and polite tone which attracts the listeners. Care should be taken to keep the sentences short and simple. Technical words should be used only where they are necessary the most. The most important of all the interest of the receiver should be considered and the message should attract the users else you might find your audience or listening yawning while you are speaking.
In the process of communication, it is of much importance to understand each other’s mindset and mental capacity; this applies in every case whether it is a professor giving a lecture or a conversation between the employer and an employee. If someone is communicating with the other individual or a group of individuals with an attitude of disinterest or unwillingness then the
process of communication will not be effective. Anger or Frustration is a barrier due to the reason that when someone is angry or frustrated no interest is shown in communicating with people with this kind of an attitude. As a result of the unwillingness to communicate with angry and frustrated people most people usually tend to communicate the message in an inappropriate manner. Anger can affect the way a person’s brain may process information given to them.For example angry people have difficulty in analyzing and processing logical statements limiting their ability to accept solutions or suggestions offered by others
Retention of information is the capacity of the memory of the brain to store information and the way brain stores information in memory. Brain does not store all the information it comes across, but only the ones it deems useful for future. So, half the information is lost in the retention process.
Similarly, brain also loses information that is old and not taken as useful with time. Extracting the information is also a process in the formation of message. Here, the brain tries to remember the required information, the fragments of which have already been lost.
For example, you were told about a friend coming to meet you before a month and had been given the person’s name, address, phone number, etc. Now, you have to communicate the information to somebody else. At the time, you only remember the name and address and forget the phone number. The truth can change or distort due to poor retention which acts as barrier to communication..
Perception is the mindset used by people by which people judge, understand and interpret everything. Each person has his own understanding of reality which is based on the mental and sensory experiences. Likewise, viewpoint is also a mindset to look at the world. Sender might have a particular viewpoint that is not shared by the receiver. The sender does not explain the viewpoint but takes the viewpoint as granted. The message is not understood by the receiver as must have been understood, creating a barrier to effective communication. Attitude is the established way in which we think and feel about things and ideas which also creates a psychological communication barrier. For example, a person takes females to be weak which is the person’s perception. He/she tells that to someone who does not think so. This causes a misunderstanding between the two. Everything they communicate after that becomes unsuccessful that the view of the person is already set.
However, Keep your Anger in Control and do not be aggressive or show your anger if you do not agree with any point of view or anything that is going against your views. State your thoughts politely with facts if you have and reflect positivity in your talk and nature. : You should be very clear about your objective and what you want to stress out. Arrange your thoughts in a proper order and then communicate accordingly. Systematic communication and clarity in thought are adequately received and appreciated. Aimless talks can be misleading so you should always try to show that there is an aim or motive behind your talk.
Physical barrier is the environmental and natural condition that act as a barrier in communication in sending message from sender to receiver. Organizational environment or interior workspace design problems, technological problems and noise are the parts of physical barriers. Noise is the disruption found in the environment of the communication. It interrupts the communication process and acts as a barrier as it makes the message less accurate, less productive and unclear. It might even prevent the message from reaching the receiver. Noise causes obstacles for the message to reach the receiver and cause physical communication barrier. There are many kinds of noise in communication process such as physical noise, written noise, technological noise etc.
Physical noise are the disturbances that occur due to outside or background disturbance and environment. This type of noise occurs in mostly all kinds of communication like face to face, written, etc. Written noise like bad handwriting or typing is also taken as physical barrier.
Technological noise are the noise that occur in the medium or channel like no sound while talking on phone or message sending failure in chats. All of the mentioned types of noises are included as physical communication barriers.
The medium via which the process of communication is taking place should be effective and appropriate. Communication takes place in various forms; it is oral, written, audio, video, formal, informal, the medium used for the purpose of communicating should be accurate, precise and
Understandable. Mediums and channels of communication must be decided upon by the role it plays, distance that must be covered, disturbances that might arise etc. The medium that is suitable for a particular distance with the least noise should be used for communication. If not, then the medium itself acts as a communication barrier and disrupts communication flow. Every kind of medium has one or the other defects and disadvantages over another.
Mediums have to use network facilities which might lead to technical and technological problems. Mechanical and technical breakdowns such as computer virus or crash or no network coverage can happen anytime. Thus, mediums must not always be trusted to be totally effective.
However to overcome physical barriers you should analyze the weaknesses in the communication system. Keep a Routine check on the communication system. The medium of communication should be proper and if it is a simple message or just a minor notice, it can be delivered either through a face to face conversation or through a telephone. Information which is complicated and lengthy should be delivered in a written manner for example, through letters, notices, newspapers or electronic mail, therefore proper media selection also leads to effective
Communication. Reduce the level of noise as far as possible: Always make sure to speak and interact with someone where there is no noise and least disturbance. Find the source of noise, remove it and then start conversing.
Not only that but also another barrier to communication is information overload. Information Overload is a type of stress that occurs when required to process complex or copious amount of information. The increase in the amount of information from the sender to the receiver can result in the receiver failing to decode all the information hence he or she may miss vital information and this becomes a barrier. When information becomes more than that can be received at a particular time by the receiver, then communication fails.
The receiver does not have the capacity to get all the information and can miss some important points or misinterpret the meaning of the whole message altogether. The message will not get the desired outcome causing the communication to not be effective and act as a barrier. Work overload and information duplication also help to cause physical communication barrier.
However, This type of a barrier can be overcome by the sender carefully planning how to send the information such that it does not overload to the receiver hence in this way the receiver can be in a good position to decode all the information well without problems resulting in effective communication. Avoid overloading too much of information: People would get bored if they are bombarded with the unnecessary and too much of information. So try to deliver the parts which are useful and informative and of value to the listener in a most simple and straight forward way. There should not be any confusion left in the mind of the listener.
Use of a wrong channel
Use of a wrong channel can also be another cause of a barrier to communication. “A communication channel is a means of communication that is available to an organisation or an individual” stated Oneil Williams (2018) . Hence if the sender uses a wrong channel to pass the information to the receiver this can result in a barrier to communication as the channel may not be appropriate to the receiver for example if the sender writes a written letter to someone who is illiterate a barrier to communication is created as the receiver is not able to decode the information. In addition the urgency to pass the information can also be another cause of a barrier to communication such that if urgent information need to be conveyed and then the sender write a letter , a barrier will be created as the letter will take days and even weeks to reach the receiver.
However, this type of a barrier to communication can be overcomed by the sender carefully assessing the capabilities of the receiver and then choosing an appropriate channel which he or she is familiar with for example if the receiver is literate the sender can write a letter and also by using faster channels of communication if urgent information need to be conveyed.
In conclusion, communication is of much importance not only for the development and progress of the organizational structure, educational institution, academic learning or in implementation of one’s daily routine tasks but also for the individual as a whole. There are number of barriers that do come along with the process of communication, these are physical barriers, psychological barriers, language barriers and it is of much importance to address these barriers leads to effective communication as well as efficiency in achieving the desired goals and objectives.