L33T Index

Communication Skills & Barriers

The way that you communicate is very important. You may not realise it, but you are always communicating in some way. This could range from verbal communication to hand gestures and facial expressions.

This newsletter will give you a run down of all the important things about how communication barriers can cause problems.


Part 1

Effective Communication


General Communication

Cultural Differences

This is a big problem when it comes to communicating with people from different cultures. This is because different cultures can have different meanings for gestures than you might.

For example, you might see a handshake as a very polite thing to do when meeting someone, but, in some countries, it is considered to be rude. So when you are meeting someone which you would expect to give a handshake to show respect, it is important to find out whether they would find it as a sign of respect.


The way you act when communicating changes based upon who you are communicating with. There are many examples to demonstrate this.

One of which is when you are texting someone. In a workplace, you would use formal text and insure that everything is spelled correctly and that the grammar and punctuation is all correct. However, when you text a friend, you would use abbreviations to make texting quicker and simpler.

Interpersonal Communication


When communicating inter-personally, the type of language used can affect the way that the conversation goes. There are two types of language, 'positive' and 'negative'.

Positive language is when the listener is engaging with the topic and they could show this by nodding their head, smiling or by agreeing with what you are saying. This could also show positive language by giving good opinions about the topic of conversation.

Negative language is pretty much the opposite. This could be shown by the listener becoming distracted by small things.

Speed of response

The speed in which you reply to someone can also determine the whole structure of the conversation.

If there is a quick response, it would improve the relationship between the people participating in the conversation. This is because they can see that you are interested in the topic.

A slow response would show less or no interest because the recipient would be putting it off because the topic doesn't interest them. This would damage due to there being no interest.

Written communication

Proof Reading

This is a very important thing to do when writing documents. Proof reading means that you give your work to someone else to read so that they can spot mistakes if there is any in spelling, punctuation and grammar. If this was not done, and the work had mistakes within it, it would give the impression that you weren't too concerned about the piece of work. This would result in a bad relationship with the recipient.


The format of written communication is also important. It varies between formal and informal.

With formal work, all spelling, punctuation and grammar i checked to ensure that it is suitable for the person that it is being sent to.

Whereas with informal text, it is more relaxed so you would use emoticons and abbreviations without worrying bout whether or not the words are spelled correctly.


Part 2

Barriers to effective Communication


General Communication

Physical Barriers

Physical barriers are exactly what it says. They are physical things like doors, walls and distance between people.

If you wanted to communicate with someone that is in a different room, but all the doors are closed, it would make it really hard to do so because you would have to shout but they still might not be able to hear you.

If there is a long distance between you and the other person that you are wanting to talk to, you wouldn't be able to communicate because they wouldn't be able to hear what you are saying.

Another physical barrier would be pods in a call centre for example. These would prevent workers from communicating with each other face to face because they would have to stand up or move to see around the pod. This would waste time as more effort is needed to speak to someone about something.

To prevent these physical barriers becoming a real issue, offices could be designed to be open plan so that all of the individual desks are grouped close together so that everyone is able to easily communicate with each other without there being any doors or walls etc. preventing them from communicating effectively.


Interpersonal communication

Non-Verbal Barriers

Non-verbal barriers are what it says, it is non-verbal actions. These can make communication less effective because if it is done in a negative way, it can affect it.

For example, not knowing when to speak. This is when you are unable to notice cues to start speaking.

Also, not engaging with eye-contact. Not using eye-contact can be a cause of shyness which would put an employer off.

There is also body language and gestures. If you are slouching, it is a sign of disengagement from the communication. If you are fidgeting a lot, it would seem like you are not interest. If you were to seem interested, you would sit up straight and lean forward slightly.

Also, looking at your watch can also be a non-verbal barrier as it implies that you are looking to see how long they have been speaking for and you want to leave.

Finally, head nodding. If you are nodding your head quite often when in communication with someone, it shows that you are listening and showing interest. Not nodding your head shows the opposite, which would be lack of interest and not listening.


written communication

Irrelevant Content

Irrelevant content can be big factor in unsuccessful communication.

If you do a presentation and you put a lot of information which has nothing to do with the topic, you can make the audience become really confused and they will start to think what you are on about. This leads to them becoming mislead which results in an unsuccessful presentation.

Likewise, when writing an email to someone, you make the subject of the email fit with the content. If you start talking about other things which you have just remembered, then the person who receives the email will become increasingly confused. This could then lead to you becoming confused because they are asking you questions on what something in the email has to do with the subject. This makes the communication unsuccessful.

If you had a piece of work that needed to be handed in, and you included a load of irrelevant information, you wouldn't get the reward that you were hoping for when you submitted that piece of work.

These sort of things is why including irrelevant information cannot be done. If you do include irrelevant information, it will lead to unsuccessful communication or affect the quality of communication.