We all know how essential it is to communicate. But there are some barriers of communicationthat can disrupt the effectiveness of communication. Communication skills are important in every aspect of life, be it personal or professional.
We communicate in a lot of ways. There is a verbal type of communication where we speak. Then there is nonverbal communication which involves our body language, like maintaining eye contact and expressions.
You may have all the required skills to be a good communicator. But still, be failing because of unawareness about barriers of communication. These barriers are the one that makes the straight forward communication complex.
In this article, we will look through different barriers of communication and how we can overcome them.
What Are Communication Barriers?
A communication barrier keeps people from understanding or even receiving the information, ideas, or thoughts conveyed by a message.
These are some hindrances that can lead to misunderstandings. There is a misinterpretation of the verbal cues that the sender intended to get conveyed to the receiver. This would thereby waste time and resources of both sender and receiver.
Top Common Barriers To Effective Communication
1. Physical Or Physiological Barrier
Physical barriers have many sub-categories barriers of communication within it.
One sub-category can be the individual’s physical state, and the second sub-category can be the physical condition between the communicators—for example, the distance, background noise, malfunctioning equipment.
The physical state can cause hindrance in many ways. For example, the receiver or the sender could be a differently-abled person. They have different means of communication, like sign language.
The physical barrier also includes distance, and it happens when you have to communicate a message to someone without their physical presence. It becomes necessary to have the right technology and devices to communicate for fruitful conversation and avoid barriers of communication.
Maintaining this communication is important to evolve and use mediums and technologies like video conferencing to retain this gap.
2. Psychological Barrier
These communication barriers relate to the mental state of the communicators—the mental state of the communicator influences the receiving and understanding of the message. The person can be under stress, anxious, or have low self-esteem.
If a person is under stress, then they would try to interpret a negative meaning in everything they say. A concern would seem like criticism, and constructive criticism would feel like a personal attack.
To avoid such misunderstandings, try to postpone the conversation when you are not feeling well. A little bit of time to yourself can save a lot of misinterpretation.
3. Emotional Barrier
Every human has emotions, and they range from happiness, sadness, fear, mistrust, anger, etc. Although feelings are good, their excessiveness can cause barriers in communication.
Emotions like happiness or anger can make people say too much. In contrast, emotions like distrust or sadness can make people talk very little.
This disrupts the flow of communication; that is why it is always advised to keep in check with our emotions, creating a balance.
For example, an angry person can get easily offended by the simplest of things said or done. They can easily misinterpret the message negatively or may something to the second party, regretful later on.
4. Bias As Barrier
Most of the time, we unconsciously or consciously judge people on various grounds like race, gender, color, social status, or background. These biases can lead to the way we treat and talk to people different from us and increase communication barriers.
When there is fear of judgment and bias, people don’t feel free to express themselves openly. So we should try to minimize this judgment as much as possible.
Marking of people should only be based on their behaviors, not on the factors beyond their control. This will help you better in talking to them and dealing with them.
5. Structural Barrier
One of the very common barriers of information preset in an organization is a structural barrier. There would in insufficient sharing of information leading to a lack of engagement and productivity.
This will also lead to a lack of understanding of the roles and responsibilities of different employees. The reason is unclear communication and clear clarification.
There are also cases of very complex structure. Here the information has to pass through many levels, eventually losing the real meaning of the message. This generally leads to misinterpretation of the message among all the communication channels.
If you want to know about barriers of communication in the workplace, then click here.
6. Credibility Barrier
Communication is also concerned with the source of the information and the reputation of the sender.
If the information provider is an authority figure or a highly reputed person, it is well taken and with trust. But if the same information giver is someone you don’t trust, you would be skeptical of it.
You can also overcome barriers of communication if the source of information is up to the receiver’s acceptance. If the information is coming from an authentic source, it can be easily trusted, but if it is a part of gossip or rumor, relying on it can be not easy.
7. Perceptual Barrier
Perceptual barriers of communication occur when people create a perception and stick to it without listening to somebody else’s perspective. This happens due to resistance towards change and personality conflicts.
We all see the world differently. This different viewpoint can make people either unable to listen or speak their view on a particular matter and causes hindrance in communication.
Although these interpersonal skills serve as barriers of communication, perception is equally important to communicate.
If there were no varied perceptions and viewpoints, then there would be no need to communicate. This is why it is necessary is to have your own perception of the world. But it is equally significant to try to understand the second person’s perspective too.
8. Language Barrier
The difference in language obviously comes under barriers of communication. Then the parties communicate are unfamiliar with each other’s language, then there are no chances to communicate properly.
When people are not aware of each other, the linguist problem is one of the barriers of communication. People who have the same language also face this problem. This happens when the receiver doesn’t understand the terminology used by the sender.
For example, a doctor and patient speaking the same language. They can also suffer from barriers of communication if the doctor starts using difficult medical terms.
9. Cultural Barrier
Among many barriers of communication, cultural barrier plays a major role. Some things in one culture can mean something entirely different in another culture.
That is why communicators should be aware of these differences and find common ground to work upon.
People from different cultures can also be untrustworthy towards each other and be easily offended. So it is important to show respect towards different cultures. This way, the second party will be more open and trustworthy towards the communicator.
10. Listening Barrier
When it comes to communication, assume it’s just about talking, but that is not true. Commination is active listening as much as it is talking. People always find it difficult to listen.
For example, if someone is talking and another person is not paying attention. He may frequently interrupt, make an assumption, repeat points, not focus, do something else, or zone out during conversations.
To prevent this barrier, it is important to give your undivided attention to the speaker without judging. Don’t interrupt in between and only reflect your opinion when they have finished talking.
If you find it difficult to listen or want to give your opinion in between, then think how frustrated you will feel when somebody will not listening to what you are saying.
11. Dissimilarity Barrier
When there are dissimilarities between the communicator, then it will evidently cause barriers in communication. People will not be able to relate to the said topic and won’t get a clear message.
For example, when a person is giving a speech. For the talk, the speaker tries to convey the message through anecdotes and stories. It will be challenging for the public to understand the message if they cannot relate to the speaker’s experience.
12. Information Overload Barrier
Although having information is good, too much information can cause overload and confusion. When information is conveyed simultaneously, it is a lot it becomes impossible to retain and then process.
As a large quantity of information cause overload, a high level of information does the same. When we are suddenly made aware of unfamiliar facts before, then there is an increased chance of overload.
Sometimes there is a chance to miss important facts, and people start focusing on the facts that are not necessary.
To prevent barriers to communication like overload, the sender should break down the text. Then explain it in time so that the receiver doesn’t get overburdened and has enough time to process the information.
13. Time Barrier
Time plays a major role in every aspect of life; the same is true for communication. Information passed quickly can give so much better results. The purpose of communication can slack if the information passed is not within the time frame.
Sometimes there is a lot to communicate but don’t have sufficient time. That is why it important to optimize resources.
So it becomes important to prevent barriers of communication concerning time; for this, try to cut short the information to the vital part so that it can save time.
14. Trust Barrier
The trust barrier is one of the other prevalent barriers of communication that discourages people even from communicating. When the sender doesn’t trust the receiver with the information, then communication would suffer.
For example, in a workplace, when the employees don’t trust their boss. They may believe that their boss is hiding something. This will make the employees anxious, and they won’t communicate with their superior properly. This will withhold the pass of information and effect work.
15. Engagement Barrier
Effective communication can only be possible if there is proper engagement between the parties communication is taking place. If there is a lack of engagement among parties, then the purpose of communication will surely fail. There would be nothing to strike a conversation.
For example, in a classroom, students do not respond to their teachers’ questions or show no interest in what the teacher offers. This causes the lack of purpose of communication, serving as a barrier.
That is why it is necessary to take steps for overcoming barriers of communication and make the conversation active
Barriers Of Communication
As we have seen, there are many barriers of communication. Both the sender and the receiver should be aware of to become a skilled communicator.
These barriers do not just cause your personal relationship. They also harm professional ones just because of some misunderstanding or the “wrong” tone.
That is why it is necessary to be aware of these barriers of communication. So that you can attempt to minimize them as much as possible. One to remember is always to seek feedback to verify that the message has been correctly understood to communicate effectively.
Any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.