Barriers to Communication and How to Overcome Them

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Communication is an important interchange that happens either at a group or one-to-one level. There are theories that explain the fundamentals of communication and what should happen for it to be effective. The basic structure involves a sender on one end and a receiver on the other with a channel in between to facilitate the transition.

Misunderstanding is a common occurrence at any stage of communication and what happens at one end may not necessarily be reflected on the other end. Misunderstandings can be a huge barrier to communication. The following are some of the common barriers and what to do to break them.

Perceptual Barrier

These barriers are set up when a person speaks in an angry sarcastic or confrontational tone. To the recipient, such kind of a message is received with a deaf ear. The solution is to start a conversation with a positive note in both words and gestures. Try and maintain eye contact as this is important to the overall feel of the message.

Attitudinal Barrier

Your attitude affects your communication. Whatever you say with an air of superiority around you gets the wrong reception to the person you are communicating. The best way out of this is to communicate effectively, using simple words, and criticizing constructively. Anyone doing a good job should be appraised without seeing yourself as a person who could have done it better.

“Communication is one of the most important skills you require for a successful life.” Catherine Pulsifer

Language Barrier

Technical terms and the use of big words can hinder effective communication. Profiling your audience and seeing what they can handle and what they cannot is the best approach to sizing your words for effective communication.

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Try to simplify things and explain just as you would to a layperson. The only exception is when you are talking to people at your level of complexity.

Cultural Barrier

The global nature of the world we live in makes cultures to clash. While this has had some positive effects, in other cases, it may hurt communication. In the face of clashing cultures, communication should only be limited to what is necessary to pass the information across. Any sentiments or feelings should be left out.

The other barrier that often crops up and affects communication is the gender barrier. For instance, in the phase of a conflict, women tend to cling on while men simply move on. In most communication issues, gender bias has played a key role. The best way is not to classify people into gender, but rather deliver a gender-sensitive message if your audience is a mix of both sexes.  

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