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BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION

The Communication Process


Source Encoding Channel Decoding
Feedback

Receiver

DIFFERENT TYPES OF COMMUNICATION BARRIERS


TRANSMITTING BARRIERS DECODING BARRIERS RESPONDING BARRIERS PHYSICAL BARRIERS PERCEPTUAL BARRIERS EMOTIONAL BARRIERS CULTURAL BARRIERS LANGUAGE BARRIERS GENDER BARRIERS
ENCODING BARRIERS

ENCODING BARRIERS
1. LACK OF SENSITIVITY TO RECEIVER
2. LACK OF BASIC COMMUNICATION

SKILLS 3. INSUFFICIENT KNOWLEDGE OF THE SUBJECT 4. INFORMATION OVERLOAD 5. EMOTIONAL INTERFERENCE

ENCODING BARRIERS
1. LACK OF SENSITIVITY TO RECEIVER Recognizing the receivers needs, status, knowledge of the subject and language skills assists the sender in preparing a successful message. Example: If a customer is angry, an effective response may be just to listen to the person give vent to his feelings for a while.

2. LACK OF BASIC COMMUNICATION SKILLS


The receiver is less likely to understand the message

if the sender has trouble choosing the precise words needed and arranging those words in a grammatically correct sentence.

EMPHASIS ON THE WRONG WORD CAN CHANGE THE MEANING OF THE SENTENCE.

3. INSUFFICIENT KNOWLEDGE OF THE SUBJECT


If the sender lacks specific

information about something, the receiver is likely to receive an unclear or mixed message.
say, for a computer, some salespeople can explain complicated terms and ideas in a simple way. The ones who can have greater knowledge of the item they are selling.

Example: While shopping,

4. INFORMATION OVERLOAD
If you receive a

message with too much information, you may tend to put up a barrier because the amount of information is coming so fast that you may have difficulty in interpreting that information.

5. EMOTIONAL INTERFERENCE
An emotional

individual may not be able to communicate well. If someone is hostile, angry, resentful, joyful or fearful, that person my be too preoccupied with emotions to receive the intended message.

TRANSMITTING BARRIERS

1. PHYSICAL DISTRACTIONS 2. CONFLICTING MESSAGES

3. CHANNEL BARRIERS
4. LONG COMMUNICATION CHAIN

1. PHYSICAL DISTRACTIONS:
A bad cellular phone line or a noisy restaurant can destroy communication. If an email message or letter is not formatted properly, or if it contains grammatical or spelling errors, the receiver may not be able to concentrate on the message because the physical appearance of the letter or email is sloppy or unprofessional.

2. CONFLICTING MESSAGES
Messages that cause a conflict in perception for the

receiver may result in incomplete communication. Examples: 1. If a person constantly uses jargon or slang to communicate with someone from another country who has never heard such expressions, mixed messages are sure to result. 2. If a supervisor requests a report immediately and does not give the writer enough time to gather the proper information.

3. CHANNEL BARRIERS
If a person chooses an inappropriate channel of communication, communication may cease. Examples: 1. Detailed instructions presented over the telephone may be frustrating for both communicators. 2. If you are on a technical support helpline discussing a problem, it would be helpful for you to be sitting in front of a computer, as opposed to taking notes from the support staff and then returning to your computer station.

4. LONG COMMUNICATION CHAIN


The longer the communication chain, the greater the

chance for error. If a message is passed through too many receivers, the message often becomes distorted. Example: If a person starts a message at one end of a communication chain of ten people, the message that eventually returns is usually liberally altered.

DECODING BARRIERS

1. LACK OF INTEREST 2. LACK OF KNOWLEDGE

3. LACK OF COMMUNICATION SKILLS


4. EMOTIONAL DISTRACTIONS 5. PHYSICAL DISTRACTIONS

DECODING BARRIERS
1.

LACK OF INTEREST: If a message reaches a reader who is not interested in the message, the reader may read the message hurriedly or listen to the message carelessly resulting in miscommunication.

2. LACK OF KNOWLEDGE
If a receiver is unable to understand a message filled with technical information, communication will break down. Example: Unless a computer user knows something about the Windows environment, the user may have difficulty organizing files if given technical instructions.

3. LACK OF COMMUNICATION SKILLS


Those who are weak in reading and listening skills make ineffective receivers. Those who have a good professional vocabulary and who concentrate on listening have less trouble hearing and interpreting good communication.

4. EMOTIONAL DISTRACTION
Emotions disrupt reception of a message. Example: If you receive a report from a supervisor regarding proposed changes in work procedures and you do not particularly like your supervisor, you may have trouble reading the report objectively and may read the report with the intention of finding faults.

5. PHYSICAL DISTRACTIONS
If a receiver of a

communication works in an area with bright lights, glare on computer screens, loud noises, excessively hot or cold work spaces, or physical ailments, that receiver will probably experience communication breakdowns on a regular basis.

RESPONDING BARRIERS
1. NO PROVISION FOR FEEDBACK: Since feedback is a two way process, the sender must search for a means of getting a response from the receiver. If a team leader does not permit any interruptions nor questions while discussing projects, he may find that the team members may not completely understand what they are to do. Face to face oral communication is considered the best type of communication since feedback can be both verbal and nonverbal. When two communicators are separated by a distance, care must be taken to ask for meaningful feedback.

2. INADEQUATE FEEDBACK
Delayed or judgmental feedback can interfere with

good communication. If your supervisor gives you instructions in long, compound complex sentences without giving you a chance to speak, you may to pretend to understand the instructions just so that you can leave the stress of your communication. Because you have not fully understood the intended instructions, your performance may suffer.

PHYSICAL BARRIERS
Includes Marked out territories, empires and fiefdoms into which strangers are not allowed Closed office doors Barrier screens Separate areas for people of different status Large working areas or working in one unit that is physically separate from others

PROXIMITY is one of the most important factors in building a cohesive team.

As long as people still have a personal space that they

can call their own, nearness to others aids communication because it helps us to get to know one another.

It also includes:
Physical objects Interfering background noises such as from

machinery at a nearby construction site; Disruptions or even distractions Example: Disruption from a child demanding your attention during a presentation The distance between the receiver and the sender of the message. The message gets more distorted with greater distance between the sender and receiver. Health problems - If you are feeling unwell or are experiencing pain, you might be unable to deliver your message effectively.

PERCEPTUAL BARRIERS
We all see the world

differently. If we didnt, we would have no need to communicate: something like extrasensory communication would take its place. Our thoughts, assumptions and perceptions shape our own realities.

EMOTIONAL BARRIERS
Comprised mainly of fear,

mistrust and suspicion Roots lie in our childhood and infancy While some caution may be wise in certain relationships, excessive fear of what others might think of us can stunt our development as effective communicators and our ability to form meaningful relationships.

Emotional stress, anger, depression or sadness

during the communication process. Such negative emotions may influence how you send the message and in turn may block the message in the mind of the receiver.
A distorted and subjective focus in your

commentary. For example, expressing your personal political, ethnic or religious views.

CULTURAL BARRIERS
When we join a group, we need to adopt

the behaviour patterns of the group. The group accepts these behaviors as signs of belonging. The group rewards such behaviour through acts of recognition, approval and inclusion. In groups that are happy to accept you, and where you are happy to conform, there is a mutuality of interest and a high level of win-win contact.

Personal biases and social prejudices based on

political, ethnic and religious beliefs and perceptions may reduce successful communication. We should guard against making generalizations and stereotyping others based on personal biases and social prejudices.

LANGUAGE BARRIERS
Language may present barriers to others who are not

familiar with our expressions, buzzwords and jargon. When we couch our communication in such a language, we make some people feel excluded from the conversation. In a global market place, we must talk in a language that everyone can understand. Certain words may have multiple meanings given specific contexts. People may interpret the same word differently. Most tourists who visit your country will speak a different first language from your own. You may be faced with speech variations such as varying accents and different ways of pronouncing words which may complicate understanding.

GENDER BARRIERS
Distinct differences in the speech patterns

Woman speaks 22,000 25,000 words a day

whereas a man speaks 7,000-10,000 words a day In childhood, girls speak earlier than boys and at the age of three, have a vocabulary twice that of boys. The reason lies in the wiring of a mans and womans brain. When a man talks, his speech is located in the left side of the brain but in no specific area. When a woman talks, the speech is located in both hemispheres and in two specific locations.

This means that a man

talks in a linear, logical and compartmentalized way, features of left brain thinking; whereas a woman talks more freely mixing logic and emotion, features of both sides of the brain. This also explains why women talk for much longer than men each day.

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