After analyzing my experience there are some points I found which ould be barrier for healthy communication and analysis of which are needed before coming up with ways to eliminate or minimize them. These barriers may be classified as follows – Barriers to Communication 1. Environmental Barriers – This is the same as physical noise, which could be in the form of distracting sounds, an overcrowded room, poor facilities and acoustics, all of which may hinder the ability to listen to and understand the message. 2.
Individual Barriers – A major barrier to interpersonal communication is a tendency to Judge, evaluates, approve or disapprove of the views of another person. This happens particularly in situations where we have strong feelings about something. In such cases, we tend to block out the communication and form our own viewpoints. 3. Organizational Barriers – In organizations that are too hierarchical, that is, where there are multiple “layers”, messages may have to pass through many levels before they finally reach the receiver.
Each level may add to, modify or completely change the message, so much so that it becomes distorted by the time it reaches the intended receiver. In other words, there is likely to be loss of meaning and the essage may not reach the receiver in the same way as it was intended by the sender. Another type of organizational barrier is a departmental barrier. This means thateach department in an organization functions in isolation and there is no co- ordination or communication between them. 4. Channel Barriers – In the earlier section, it was pointed out that communication can fail due to any of the different elements going wrong.
Wrong choice of channel is one of the main barriers to communication. Using a wrong medium of advertising, or conveying a message orally when a written letter would be more appropriate, are examples. The written channel is more appropriate when the communication is more formal or for keeping things on record, while emotional messages such as feelings about co-workers are better conveyed orally. 5. Linguistic and Cultural Barriers -When the sender of the message uses a language that the receiver does not understand, the communication will not language used may be too highly technical for the receiver to understand.
Linguistic barriers may also occur in cross-cultural advertising and distort the communication, when translating campaigns or slogans literally from one language to another. For xample, Pepsi’s slogan “Come Alive with Pepsi”, when translated into Chinese, read “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave! ” Cultural differences refer to differences in values and perceptions, which may affect the interpretation of the message by the receiver.
For example, a Joke about women may be taken in the wrong sense if the receiver belongs to a culture where women are highly respected. 6. Semantic Barriers – The word “semantics” refers to the meaning of words and the way in which they are used. For example, different words may have different meanings in different cultures. Failure to take this into consideration could lead to serious blunders. Example : Saying ” The new product launch went like a bomb” in British English would mean that the new product launch was a success.
On the other hand, saying “The product launch bombed” in American English would mean that the new product was a disaster. 7. Non-verbal Barriers – This refers to the non-verbal communication that goes with a particular message. Non-verbal communication includes tone of voice, body language such as gestures and facial expressions, etc. We will be discussing this in great length in a later unit. If the tone of voice and body language are negative, the communication will fail, however positive the spoken and written message.
For example, if you happen to meet a long lost friend and say “l am delighted to meet you”, but in a sad tone of voice, the exact opposite message will be conveyed! Therefore, it is important to avoid giving conflicting signals, through the use of non-verbal communication. Overcoming the Barriers to Communication Certain steps can be taken, both at the organizational level, as well as at the individual level, to effectively deal with the barriers to communication, in order to try o minimize them, if not eliminate them entirely -Organizational Action 1 .
Encourage Feedback – Organizations should try to improve the communication system by getting feedback from the messages already sent. Feedback can tell the managers whether the message has reached the receiver in the intended way or not. 2. Create a Climate of Openness – A climate of trust and openness can go a long way in removing organizational barriers to communication. All subordinates or Junior employees should be allowed to air their opinions and differences without fear of being penalized. Use Multiple Channels of Communication – Organizations should encourage the use of multiple channels of communication, in order to make sure that messages reach the intended receivers without fail. This means using a combination of both oral and written channels, as well as formal (official) and informal (unofficial) channels of communication. The types of channels will be discussed in detail later, in a separate unit. Individual Action 1. Active Listening – This means listening to the meaning of the speaker’s words, rather than listening without hearing, or “passive istening”.
Passive listening is a barrier to communication, whereas real communication takes place when we listen actively, with understanding. Listening is a skill which can be developed through proper training. 2. Careful wording of messages – Messages should be worded clearly and without ambiguity, to make sure that the message that is received is the same as the message that is sent. 3. Selection right communication channel, depending on the situation. Channels of communication and the criteria for selection of channels will be discussed in detail in a later chapter.