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Communication Barriers

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Communication Barriers
Communication Barriers are the various obstacles and hurdles which arise in between of an effective communication leading to misunderstandings and misinterpretations by the receiver. In the above example noise was the communication barrier.
Role of communication barriers in ineffective communication
Let us now understand in details what the barriers to an effective communication are and how they lead to an ineffective communication. * Noise - Noise plays an important barrier to effective communication. Imagine you want to pass on some information to a person standing next to a blaring mike. Do you think, the sender will ever be able to interpret it correctly? Do you think the receiver in this case is to blame? In this case, because of the blaring mike, the information will never reach the person in its desired form. Any presentation or speech delivered in a noisy classroom or auditorium is pointless as the information would never fall on the ears of the listeners. Try sharing some information with your friend in an overcrowded bus or a noisy market, correct information will never reach the recipient and he would never be able to interpret it correctly or respond accordingly. Here noise is an external communication barrier and it results in the distortion of the message. * Unorganized Thought - Unorganized and haphazard thoughts also are instrumental in poor communication and a very important barrier to effective communication.
Mike to Monalisa -“Please come at 2 pm, okay not 2 come at 2.30 pm instead, fine let us freeze it for 3 pm”
Monalisa is bound to get confused as Mike himself is not clear about the timings. The sender must pass on crystal clear information to the receiver. The sender must first be himself very clear what he wants to communicate and then only begin the conversation. Abstract ideas, haphazard thoughts lead to ineffective communication. First know what you have to communicate and then only speak. * Wrong interpretations - Wrong interpretations again play a very important role in miscommunication. An information can be wrongly interpreted by the receiver leading to a complete mess. “Tom went for a bash yesterday night”. The word bash can be decoded as beating as well as a party. The sender might convey his message to the recipient in order to provide some necessary information but the receiver might misinterpret it. It is the responsibility of the receiver to give proper feedback to the speaker and clear all the doubts before ending the conversation. Don’t keep things within yourself; ask if you are not clear with anything. * Not Understanding the receiver - The boss once wanted to address his young team. He quoted examples from the year 1950 - the year when his team members were not even born. Don’t you think, all the young chaps will lose interest after sometime? That’s the importance of understanding the recipient. Don’t just prepare a speech, learn more about the culture, habits, thought process of your listeners. The sender must understand the receiver first and then pass on the information. If a sender is sad and you want to give him some exciting news, he will neither respond nor understand and hence the effect will for sure get nullified. Not understanding the receiver again is a barrier to effective communication. * Ignoring the content - One should lay emphasis on the content of his speech. The content has to be clear, crisp and above all interesting. Don’t just speak; take some time to find out what you are speaking. Find out whether the content is relevant or not? During presentations, the speaker must use interesting words, funny one liner to capture the attention of the listeners.Don’t make your speech monotonous otherwise the listeners after sometime will definitely fall asleep. One should be smart enough to understand when to crack a slight joke in mid of a conversation. It really works. Don’t just speak for the heck of it, understand what you are speaking and try to make it more interesting, crisp and above all relevant. * Avoiding the Listener - Imagine yourself attending a seminar where the speaker is simply reading from his notes and for once has not made any eye contact with you. You will never be able to relate with the speaker and hence never bother to find out what he wants to convey. Don’t just go on. Create a friendly atmosphere and then start communicating. Don’t just come to the point, one can ask questions from the listeners like what’s new?, Lovely weather or even use compliments like wonderful crowd, enthusiastic group. Don’t avoid your listeners, make an eye contact with them to effectively communicate. * Not confirming with the recipient - Always cross check with the listeners, whether they have received the correct information or not. For instance, if you are sharing some important contact no, do make it a habit to verify the number with the receiver whether the receiver has noted it correctly or not. Use words like “Did you get it? “Am I Audible?” in between the conversation. Try to find out whether the listener is getting your message or not. Take pauses in between, simply don’t rush. Make a habit to spell out words. If you want to pass on your email id to your team, it is better to spell out each word of the email account. Another effective way is to break each word into alphabets, like ant can be communicated as a as in alpha, n as in Netherlands, t as in tango. The error rate will definitely go down and the communication will be more effective. * Not understanding the mood of the recipient - Try to understand the interest or the mood of the second party and read the mind of the other person. Don’t just start speaking, understand the mood of the other person first and then share the information. If you think, the receiver is in the pink of his moods, don’t give him sad news, he will never bother to listen. Wait for the correct time and then communicate if you want your communication to create an impact. * Low pitch and tone - Sometimes even the pitch and tone can play a communication barrier. Your content might be accurate, crisp and even related, but if your pitch is low your information will never reach the listeners bang on. The tone has to be crystal clear and loud for passing on correct information. Remember to give the correct pause after each sentence and don’t forget the punctuation marks. Remember you are communicating not only for the first benchers but the people on the last bench are also a part of the communication. Be loud and clear but don’t shout. * Impatient Listener - The listener also has to be patient enough to absorb the complete information and then respond accordingly. Always jot down your points and start off with your queries once the sender is through with the communication. Don’t just jump in between the conversation as it leads to unnecessary confusions, misunderstandings and conflict and the communication never reaches any conclusion. * Different cultural level - In any organization, an individual can never think on the same line as his boss does. There is always a difference in their thought process. The work pressure, lack of transparency between the team members are also the barriers which lead to an ineffective communication. These barriers are called internal barriers.
Thus to conclude, any obstacle which comes in between an effective communication are called communication barriers. They result in distortion of the message and the goal is never accomplished. External barriers arise from the external environment and external factors where as internal barriers are present within the individual like tensions, work pressure, high expectations, peer rivalry etc. It is of prime importance to get rid of the above barriers for an effective communication and the proper flow of information between the sender and the receiver.

STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATIONEffective communication is the process of successful transmission of the message from the sender o the receiver. If the receiver is able to download the message in exactly the same way as the sender intended to do, communication is effective. The receiver must understand what the speaker wants to convey and accordingly must give his valuable feedback or simply respond. If any of the participants whether the sender or the receiver is not clear about the content of the conversation, the communication is said to be ineffective.Effective communication not only plays a key role in organizations but also in one’s personal life. An individual is not born with an effective communication, it comes with due course of time and of course through lots of practice and dedication.Let us try to understand how one can improve communication skills in day to day life. |
The golden rule to an effective communication in day to day scenario is to listen attentively. A good listening power goes a long way in improving the communication skills of an individual.Dont just speak, also listen. Try to grasp new words, correct pronunciations from your friends and other people. If you feel you are pronouncing a particular word in not the desired form, don’t hesitate or feel shy, instead, learn from others the correct way. Remember there is no limit and age to learn new things. One can do it almost everyday. Gone are the days when television was considered an idiot box. Who says one can’t gain anything while watching Television? While watching any talk show, or an interactive program on television, don’t simply stare at the pictures only, instead keep your ears and mind alert and try to follow the participant’s accent, selection of words, the flow of words and gain as much as you can. In any conversation, listen carefully what the other person is speaking and then only respond.
Try to understand what the speaker wishes to convey. Never stop the speaker in between and rush with your questions. The question answer round must come at the end of the conversation. During any conversation, if you are not clear with any word, don’t just ignore, immediately refer to a dictionary or any other vocabulary site. Read a lot as reading also helps in improving the communication skills. Can’t find a book, simply pick up the newspaper and read. It enriches one’s vocabulary and one would never fall short of words and ideas while communicating. Practice also helps in improving the communication skills. The more you speak, the more confident you are, and more effective your communication is.
Never speak at a noisy place. Avoid communicating at overcrowded buses, market place, construction sites, railway stations, busy streets as noise overpowers the actual content at all such places.
Mike and Jackson were at a construction site, where the labours were howling and screaming and the machines were making all kind of noises.Mike had to convey an urgent message to Jackson.
How do you think Mike should have communicated ?
The ideal way to communicate in such a scenario is a text message as verbal communication would have been ineffective as Jackson would never be able to hear the message properly leading to wrong interpretations and misunderstandings. If the facility of text message is not available, it’s better to wait for the right time.
Speaking clearly and properly is the mantra to an effective communication. Never keep your thoughts within yourself, instead put your ideas in a sensible and meaningful content after carefully selecting the words. Remember selection of words is of utmost importance as any wrong word can distort the message and change the meaning of the sentence completely. Don’t keep half of your thoughts in mind, always speak clearly. If you want to order a Chicken Burger, please do specify your preference. If you don’t want to accompany your friends to a party, make them very clear. The pitch and tone of the communication must also be kept in mind for an effective communication. Never speak in between two individuals as it would always lead to confusions and misunderstandings and no one will be clear what the other person wants to convey.
Always try to understand the mood of the second party before communicating. If the other party is in a fowl mood, prefer to convey your message later. Don’t just immediately start with your message, instead first break the ice by some warm words, pleasant greetings and compliments. Make sure to make an eye contact with the other party for the desired effect.

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