What are the various barriers to Communication?

Although a communicator may take great care in sending the message to the receiver properly, there may exist some barriers to communication. A poorly transmitted message often leads to misunderstanding. This would pave way to strained relations and frictions among the employees. This detrimentally affects morale of the employees. Some of the barriers to communication are —

(i)  Filtering : The information may be filtered by sender deliberately to mislead the receiver. A manager filter the information by hiding some meaning and disclosing in such a fashion that the information is appealing to the employee. When the sender tries to filter the information, he is said to alter the communication in his favour at the cost of the real message. Filtering the message is a powerful barrier to communication.

(ii)  Selective perception : This time the fault lies in the receiver who may indulge in selective perception. The receiver may like to perceive in what he is interested. Perceptual selection may sometimes lead to perceptual distortion. Perpetual distortions and fallacies may become endemic and vitiate the entire system. This affects the organisational effectiveness adversely.

(iii) Language : Communication is said to be poor and distorted if the message is not properly expressed. When information is worded in a manner not understandable to the receiver it is quite likely that the message may be misunderstood. Further, semantic problems may also distort the message.

(iv) Semantic Barrier : The language, words, symbols and experssions used in communication may distract attention from the actual meaning of the message. Moreover, the tendency of perople to interpret the same message in different ways may also act as a semantic barrier.

(v) Emotions: Emotions of both the sender and receiver influence the message that is transmitted and received. The receiver is likely to take into account the emotion of the sender and interpret the information accordingly. Extreme emotions and jubilation or depression have probability of hindering the effectiveness of communication.

(vi) Information overload : When managers furnish the heavy information to subordinates, they become unable to distinguish between important and unimportant and this way the entire exercise of communicating would be redundant and wasteful.

(vii) Non-verbal cues : They are very important sources of hindering the message especially when these cues are inconsistent with the message. Normally, the receiver expects some consistency in the non-verbal cues with the message being transmitted.

(viii) Time Pressures: Often in organization the targets have to be achieved within a specified time period, the failure of which has adverse consequences. In a haste to meet deadlines, the formal channels of communication are shortened, or messages are partially given, thus hampering effective communication.

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