Barriers of Business Communication

Meaning of Barriers of Business Communication:

Communication barriers may be defined as any factors that interfere with communicating a message. These barriers obstruct free and smooth movement of a message. Barriers may be related to the sender, the receiver or the environment. Given below is a list of some common barriers, which should be considered illustrative not exhaustive.

  1. Individual and Socio-Psychological Barriers
  2. Organizational Barriers
  3. Language Barriers
  4. Physical Barriers

Individual and Socio-Psychological Barriers:

Individual and socio-psychological barriers are communication interferences that arise from human feelings, emotions, values, poor listening, etc. Common barriers within this category are listed below:

Preconceived Ideas: This one of the most common barriers to communication. People having selective perception block out new information especially when it does not conform. Thus, information that conflicts with preconceived notions either is not processed or is distorted to confirm their preconceptions.

Poor Communication Skills: Substantial differences exist in the ability of people to communicate. This represents another intervening variable influencing the transmission of message.

Differing Frame of Reference: Individuals often perceive the same phenomenon differently, depending on their frame of references. These types of differences may be seen in an individual as well as in organization level. Take for example; pricing problems are not viewed alike by the marketing manager and the plant manager.

Close Mind: It is very difficult to communicate with a man having a closed mind. A close minded man is not rationale in his thinking.

Emotional Reaction: Emotional reactions- anger, threat, fear, jealousy, nervousness, hate, and love. In the emotional state of mind a man cannot organize his messages properly. So, this state of mind is sure to be reflected in his message.

Poor Listening: You will find in anyplace of discussion that talker are many but listener are a few. Thesetalkative people are in the little habit to hear others. These people stand in the way of effective communication.

Organizational Barriers:

Barriers may result from organizational structures. These problems may be of the following types:

Excessive Layers of Management: The more long the communication route. At each level of management layers, some extra time is consumed for decoding and encoding of the message. Information may lose a little of its authenticity because of the filtering of the message at every layer.

Organizational Climate: Communication is also influenced by the atmosphere of an organization. In a congenial atmosphere where high degree of trust and openness prevails, probability of sound communication sincere sending and receiving of a message, is higher than do in a climate of distrust and defensiveness. This type of problem may be created by some staff members of an organization.

Lack of Policies: Guidelines of business operations, how to do, when to do, etc. are incorporated on the policies of the organization. Officers and employees of an organization feel easy to give and receive information in the light of the policy.

Time Pressure and Bypassing: It is a great problem for a manager that he does not have needed time to communicate frequently with every subordinate. Due to this time pressure, he sometimes resorts to short circuiting leaving the intermediaries along the formal route of communication.  

Language Barriers:

Almost all communication is language based. But this language itself becomes a barrier when it adversely affects the communication process.

Local Dialect: Local dialects may also act as a barrier to communication. Different regions may have their own dialects.

Semantics/Ambiguous Word: Most communication is verbal; a message is carried on through word, whether spoken or written. But words have a variety of meanings.

Use of different Language: Use of different language may also stand in the way of effective communication. This type of barrier is created when a sender uses varieties of language but receiver is not that much expert to understand different languages other than that of his, mother tongue.

Technical words: It is not expected of every man to understand everything equally.  Sometimes technical words are used in encoding a message. These words may not be understood by the receiver in the sense intended by the sender.

Poor Expression: The purpose of communication is to clearly inform the receiver of the intention of the sender. This sometimes may not be possible because of the inability of the sender to express his idea as appropriate to the receiver.

   Physical Barriers:

Physical barriers are communication interferences that take place in an environment in which communication occurs.

Noise: The word ‘noise’ literally means a high sound, which obstructs good communication. Noise is great barrier to a smooth flow of oral communication.

Distance: Distance sometimes appears to be a barrier. In this day of modern technological advancement the communicator and communicate staying at a far distant place may face this type of problem, if there occurs any mechanical breakdown in the communication channel.

Time: Communicating at the wrong time may also act as a barrier. Discussion of a sensitive issue with the person when he is about to leave for an urgent meeting is almost certain to end in failure.

Absence of feedback: Feedback has no substitutes to make communication perfect and effective.  

#Overcoming Barriers to Communication:

A smooth flow of information always doesn’t go unhindered. There exist many road blocks or barriers in different shapes in the communication process. Communication barriers are not such tough things, which cannot be removed. Many communication barriers can be overcome if it is sincerely desired. Below is some of the way of improving communication.

  1. Improving individual and Socio-Psychological Barriers:
  2. Recognizing the Receiver’s Personal Factors
  3. Following Up
  4. Training
  5. Creating Credibility
  6. Adopting Social Care
  7. Being free from Emotional State
  8. Repeating Message
  9. Removing Causes of Inattentiveness
  10. Avoiding Assumption
  11. Listening Effectively
  • Overcoming Organizational Barriers:
  • Levels of Management
  • Giving Up Egotistic Personality Feelings
  • Determining Policy
  • Minimizing Bypassing
  • Recognizing the Structure
  • Clear Definition
  • Making Sound Objective
  • Improving Language Barriers:
  • Using Appropriate Language
  • Avoiding Local Dialect
  • Using Single Language
  • Simplifying Language
  • Appropriate Encoding