Barriers to Effective Communication

Barriers to General Communication

When communicating with someone you may have to overcome some barriers which stop you from getting your information across to the receiver. The psychological barrier of communication is the influence of psychological state of the communicators which creates an obstacle for effective communication. Physiological barriers of communication occur due to the physical condition of sender or receiver, such as hearing or visual impairment, memory problems or physical problems such as pain or illness. To overcome such physiological barriers depends on the problem itself. If the receiver is hearing or visually impaired, you could use special technology such as a speech to text converter or vice versa to help them understand you fully. The barrier is not always on the receiver’s end though, and you as the sender have to ensure that you are not affected by any physiological barriers, such as stress. If you are stressed you may be preoccupied by personal concerns and may not get your point across the same way as if you were not stressed. Stress management is an important personal skill that affects our interpersonal relationships. Anger is another example of a psychological barrier to communication, when we are angry it is easy to say things that we may later regret and also to misinterpret what others are saying.

Barriers to Interpersonal Communication

When communicating with another person interpersonal barriers to communication often arise. Attitudinal barriers are behaviours which prevent sender and receiver from communicating properly. Some people suffer from selective hearing, an attitudinal barrier which means they have the attitude that they do not need all of the details to understand someone. Your mind condenses all the information into a summary, and may possibly leave out or dismiss some vital information. The person you are communicating with does not know what information you have missed out, which can bring a breakdown in communication. Overcoming this is difficult but can be achieved by clarification between the sender and receiver, summarising and re-covering the important information communicated. Emotional editing is an attitudinal barrier based on your personal feelings about a person or topic. Some people are emotionally predisposed to liking or disliking someone or something, which cause communication issues. It is important to put aside your emotions when trying to understand or distribute information, to make sure you are communicating as clearly as possible. Stereotyping is an attitudinal barrier that alters communication because of the general opinion of a group. This can go as far as racism or sexism. Many workplaces now have equality and diversity courses which aim to remove prejudice and stereotyping, ultimately with the goal to increase communication between employees.

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Barriers to Written Communication

Even your written communication often has barriers which you must overcome. The language barrier is something you may have heard of before. A foreign student may have difficulty understanding a new language and this can prevent proper communication. Not using the words that other person understands makes the communication ineffective and prevents message from being conveyed. Overcoming this could be done by speaking in clearer easier terms, and avoiding complicated words. Not only is it foreign people though, there are some people with learning disabilities or even people with less linguistic ability than you. Your grammar and spelling are very important when communicating, and you should be spellchecking all your written communication and proof reading it, as sometimes your spelling is fine but a sentence just does not make sense. Even when communicating with someone who speaks the same language as you perfectly, there are still some barriers and the choice of word used in describing anything must be considered before communicating. If you are not in the same industry, there may be some slang or jargon of which they are completely unaware of and which you will have to explain properly to them. You should ensure that when trying to overcome these language barriers you are not being patronizing and offending people may only cause more communication barriers in the future. Being clear, direct and coherent is important to getting past this barrier.