What are the common barriers to effective communication? Suggest measures to overcome them.
At times. the message is sent by the sender but is not understood by the receiver in its true intended meaning. It is important to identify such barriers and overcome them.
The common barriers to effective communication are:
a. Semantic barriers-Semantic barriers are related to the problems and obstructions in the process of encoding and decoding of the message into words or impressions. For example using the wrong words, faulty translations, and wrong interpretations. The different types of semantic barriers are mentioned below:
● The intended meaning be not be conveyed by the manager to his subordinate. This might be due to the inadequate vocabulary, use of wrong words and omission of important words.
● The communication originally drafted in one language has to be understood by translating it into another language. At times the translator might not be proficient with both the languages and mistakes may arise in translation.
● The specialists often use technical jargon which is not usually understood by the people not belonging in the concerned field. The actual meaning of many words may not be properly conveyed.
● One word may have several different meanings. The receiver may understand it in one such meaning which was not intended by the speaker.
● Every movement of the body communicates some meaning. The body movement and the gestures of the communicator are extremely important in conveying the message. If there is a mismatch between the two, the message might not be understood in its true intended form.
b. Psychological barrier: Some psychological factors also become a barrier to effective communication. The mind state of both the sender and receiver are important to ensure that the message is conveyed effectively. The different types of psychological barriers are mentioned below:
● A person may evaluate the meaning of the message before the sender completes his message. This is called premature evaluation. This is due to pre-conceived notions and prejudices against communication.
● If the communication has passed through various levels, successive transmissions of the message lead to loss of or transmission of inaccurate information. This occurs more during oral communication.
● The people who cannot retain information for a long duration also proves to be a barrier to effective communication. This may be due to lack of interest or inattentiveness.
● The receiver may be preoccupied in his mind and may not listen to the message carefully.
● The maybe a certain level of distrust among both the parties. Since they do not believe each other, they will not understand each other's message in its true sense.
c. Organizational barrier: The factors related to organisation structure, authority relationships, rules, and regulations may act as barriers to effective communication. Some of these barriers are:
● A rigid set of rules and regulations, long procedures and communication only through the prescribed channel may be a barrier to communication.
● If the organizational policy is not supportive of Free Flow communication it may lead to become a barrier in the communication.
● If the facilities for smooth and timely communication and not provided such as meetings, suggestion box, complaint box, social gatherings, etc, there would not be a free flow of communication.
● The communication may also be distorted if there are a number of managerial levels where the communication has to be passed through.
● The status of a superior may create a psychological distance between him and his subordinates. The manager may not allow his subordinates to express their feelings freely.
d. Personal barriers: The personal fractures of both the sender and the receiver may affect the effectiveness of the communication. A few of these barriers are explained below:
● If a superior feel that a particular form of communication may have a negative effect on security he may suppress this communication.
● If the superior does not have confidence in the abilities of the subordinates, he may not ask their opinions or advice.
● Subordinates may not communicate some matters with the superior if they feel that it may negatively affect their own personal interest.
● If there is no motivation for communication the subordinate me not take any initiative to communicate.
The different ways to improve the effectiveness of communication are explained below:
a. The Executive Manager must clear all the problems that have to be communicated to the subordinates. He must analyze and study it before conveying it to his subordinates.
b. The sender of the communication must clearly understand the level of understanding of the receiver. The manager should adjust his communication according to the education and understanding level of his subordinates.
c. The manager must involve others in developing a plan for communication before the actual process of communicating the message. This would also help to increase the level of motivation and cooperation on the subordinates due to their direct participation.
d. The contents of the message, tone, language used, the manner in which the message is to be communicated are the important aspects of effective communication. it should not hurt the sentiments of the subordinates.
e. The interest and the needs of the people must be understood. If the message is directly or indirectly related to such interest in need it would he walked a positive response from the people.
f. The communication should not only meet the existing commitments to maintain consistency but should also aim at the future goals of the organisation.
g. They should be regular follow up and review the instructions given to the subordinates. It would help to remove any obstruction in the way of implementing the instructions.
h. The communicator must ensure to ask questions regarding the message conveyed. The receiver should be encouraged to respond to the communication. This would help to measure the success of communication.
i. The manager should be a good listener. Patients and attentive listening is extremely important.
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