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					Barriers to Communication
    Barriers to communication
•
   Barriers to Communication
• In communication, as a psycho-semantic
  process, the word barrier implies, mainly
  something non-physical that keeps people
  apart or prevents activity, movement etc.
• E.g. social / ethnic / language barriers or lack
  of confidence
• Negative forces may affect the
  effectiveness of communication by acting
  upon any or all of the basic elements of
  communication process
                        Barriers
 Noise                             Loss by transmission
 Lack of planning                  Poor retention
 Wrong / unclarified                Poor listening
  assumptions                       Insufficient period for
 Semantic problems (relating        adjustment
  to words’ meaning)                Goal conflicts
 Cultural barriers                 Offensive style
 Socio-psychological barriers      Time & distance
 Emotions                          Abstracting
 Selective perception              Inferring (conclude)
 Filtering
 Information overloaded
         Barriers - sender
• Lack of planning
• Vagueness about the “purpose” of
  communication
• Objectives to be achieved
• Choice of wrong language, resulting in
  badly encoded message
• Unshared & unclarified assumptions
• Different perception of reality
• Wrong choice of the channel
          Barriers - Receiver
•   Poor listener          • Bias / Lack of trust
•   Inattention            • Different perception
•   Mistrust                 of reality
•   Lack of interest       • Attitudinal clash
•   Premature evaluation     with sender
•   Semantic               • Not in a fit physical
    Difficulties             state
       Common barrier –
       both sender & receiver
Absence of a common frame of
reference affecting smooth
interpretation of thoughts, feelings and
attitudes from the sender to the
receiver in a specific social situation
                Noise
• Blaring of loud speakers
• Poor telephone line
• Faulty TV cable
•  Adverse weather conditions interfering
  transmission
• Faulty encoding
• Inattention on the part of listener
• Faulty decoding
         Lack of Planning
• Not properly organized/composed
• Transmitted through a wrongly chosen
  medium
• Wrong choice of time
• Wrong choice of place
    Wrong & unclarified assumptions
•    All communications are made under some
    assumptions, which are never communicated
•   They may turn out wrong & cause communication
    failure
•   E.g. we often assume that others –
   See the situation as we do
   Should feel about the situation as we do
   Think about the matter as we do
   Understand the message as we understand it

All such assumptions may be incorrect. Hence one should
  try to verify whenever possible, It helps
  communication be effective
          Semantic Problems
• The systematic study of transmission of meaning is
  semantics
• Any problem arising from the
  expression/transmission of meaning are semantic
  problems/barriers
• Not always necessary for the meaning in the mind of
  sender to be same as that in the mind of receiver
• It is of vital importance for the sender to encode his
  message in such a way that receiver decodes it to get
  the intended meaning
• One must aim at simplicity, clarity and brevity so as
  to minimize the chances of different interpretations.
  Use of jargons should also be avoided
       Cultural Barriers
Same category of words, phrases,
symbols, actions, colors mean different
things to people of different
countries/cultural backgrounds
                   Emotions
• Encoding and decoding of messages depends to quite
  some extent on one’s emotional state at a particular
  time
• Extreme emotions, like jubilation or depression, are
  likely to hinder effective communication
• Anger is the worst enemy of communication
• Message received when one is angry is likely to be
  interpreted in a very different manner than when one
  is calm and composed
• Stress may also lead to building of negative emotions,
  further leading to communication breakdown
        Selective Perception
•   Receivers selectively see and hear
    depending upon their needs, motivations,
    background, experience and other personal
    characteristics
•   While decoding the messages they project
    their own interests and expectations
•   Fact is we don’t see reality, we interpret
    what we see and call it reality
               Filtering
• Sender manipulates information in such
  a way that it will be seen more favorably
  by the receiver
• The more vertical levels in the
  hierarchical system, the more chances
  for filtering
Information Overload                (Availability of
     huge amounts of data which the receiver is
             unable to handle effectively)
•   Results-fatigue, disinterest and boredom
•   Very often relevant information gets mixed
    up with irrelevant details and therefore goes
    ignored by receiver.
•   Screening of information is necessary
•   Messages should be directed only to those
    people who are likely to benefit from the
    information
•   Major points should be highlighted leaving out
    all irrelevant details
    Loss by Transmission
When messages pass on from person to
person in a series of transmissions they
are likely to become less and less
accurate. They get diluted on the way
        Poor Retention
Necessity of repeating the message
using several channels/media
            Poor Listening
• Poor listening and hasty evaluation is a
  major problem
• Reason is mostly people are too much
  involved in their own problems and
  pampering their own egos
• We should keep our eyes, ears open,
  rise above our egos, empathize with
  others
      Insufficient Period for
           Adjustment
• Change in shifts in time, transfer to
  another department, change in profile,…
• People respond to change in different
  ways and require their own time to think
  about full meaning, implications and
  consequences of the message
            Goal Conflicts
• Various units and sub units in an
  organization internalize their own goals,
  leading to splitting or bifurcation of
  interests
• Conflicts act as communication-
  reduction mechanism.
       Offensive Style of
        Communication
When a manager sends a message in
such a way that the juniors become
defensive he/she contributes to
negative factor of poor interpersonal
relationship.
            Time & Distance
                   Time
•   The frequency of communication encounters
    affects the human relationship
•   Different shifts/meeting at wrong time,
    phone call at wrong time affect the
    communication
                   Distance
•   Faulty sitting arrangement at office may
    create communication gaps
•   Boss can minimize status difference between
    himself and his employees
   Abstracting (conceptual, not
            concrete
• We use language to communicate our
  experiences and feelings but we can’t
  communicate every detail of it.
• We abstract the reality and report only the
  valuable characteristics
• We observe partially and communicate
  partially because our experience of the event
  is also partial
• When we try to convert our observations and
  experiences into words, we further abstract
  it by using selective words which involve
  leaving out the details
        Wrong Inferences
• More dramatic than facts and give
  scope for gossip
• Inferences supported by facts are
  essential for professionals when they
  analyze material, solve problems and
  plan procedures
       Socio - Psychological
1. Status
 Consciousness of one’s status affects 2-way
   flow of communication
 Creates personal barriers caused by
   superior-subordinate relationship
 Though 2-way vertical channel exists in
   every organization
 Few subordinates choose to communicate
   with their superiors and vice versa
 Though organizations are changing by
   adopting flat structures, psychological
   distance between superior – subordinate
   exists
 Barriers – Socio - Psychological
2. Perception* & reality
 Human communication takes place in the
   world of reality which surrounds us – our
   sensory environment
 Sense organs stimulated by signs (external)
 Sense Perceptions received by our brain
   through our senses recreate within each one
   of us the world which exists within our mind
   as its content
 2 aspects of same reality –
o External which surrounds the communicator
   &
o Internal – mental representation as seen /
   believed by the individual
 Barriers – Socio – Psychological
• 5 sense organs –
 Eyes      –    sight
 Ears      –    sound
 Nose      –    smell
 Tongue –       taste
 Flesh     –    touch
• Objects which excite the sense organs are
  called “signs”
• Senses respond to signs - sensations -
  transported to the brain through the sensory
  nerve network
 Barriers – Socio - Psychological
• Perceptions are mental images of
  external work stored in our brain –
  viewpoint, experience, knowledge,
  feelings & emotions
• Perceptions constitute-
 what we are
How we think
How we feel OR
How we respond to something
 Barriers – Socio - Psychological
• These stored perceptions colour and
  modify whatever our brain receives
  from any signs or set of signs, fresh
  data, thoughts or messages.
• These conditioning perceptions are
  called “filters”
• The mind ‘filters’ the message received
  from the signs and gives it meaning
  according to individual perception
 Barriers – Socio - Psychological
• An individuals filter is “unique”
• B’coz filters differ, different individuals
  respond to a sign (word, gesture etc) with
  different understanding and will assign a
  meaning according to his/her filter
• The presence of a unique filter in each
  individual communicator and receiver
  causes the communication gap (distortion)
  in the message sent and message received
   Barriers – Socio - Psychological
• Easy to remove gaps in face–to–face
  communication
• Understand through listeners facial
  expression, body language gestures etc. or
  listener will express
• In a written communication - audience is
  invisible –– semantic gap between intended
  meaning and interpreted meaning remains
  unknown.
• Feedback does help but it may be too late
Semantic – relating to words’ meanings

				
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posted:8/22/2011
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