Different Types of Barriers to Communication

Applicable to also:

When communication happens there may be 'noise' which is called as barriers to communication. Barriers to communication causes different misunderstanding, misconceptions, confusion and overall miscommunication. That's why we should know about those well to recognize well in the purpose of trying to avoid those from communication to make communication effective. Different types of barriers to communication are described below:

A. Organizational Barriers: It arises for the following reasons:
1. Complex Organizational Structure: The more complex structure that an organization has, The more problem it face in communication.

2. Excessive Layering of Administration: In modern business, the administrative level has more layers which creates communication gap between employee and management.

3. Lack of Policies: How management will function is reflected through its policies.  Lack of proper organizational or managerial policy causes dispassion among the employees.

4. Conservativeness of Supervisors: Sometimes supervisors are very conservative and ignore to communicate with the employees. This causes barrier to communication.

5. Improper Delegation of Authority & Responsibility: For improper delegation of authority and responsibility in an organization, the employees and workers are not conscious about their task which acts as a barrier to communication.

B. Individual Barriers: 
 1. Personality: Sometimes higher officials do not maintain any discussion with the subordinates due to their high personality. This hampers in communication.

2. Wrong Explanation: Both receiver and sender can explain the received message or information in a wrong way which causes problem to communication.

3. Individual Conflict: If individual conflict exists between sender and receiver then communication can happen whimsically. This acts as a barrier to communication.

4. Fear: Lack of proper knowledge, fear of capability,  fear of explaining properly,  threat for failure and others are also reasons for causing problems to communication.

5. Pre-Idea : Sometimes,  We bear pre-idea regarding any person in our mind. And when we communicate, we try to apply what is kept in our mind. Difference between perception and reality may hamper communication.

6. Insincerity and Lack of Confidence: Sender may not give importance to the thinking and decision of receiver. In such a case, receiver may lose confidence which will lead to worthless communication.

C. Language/Semantic Barrier:
1. Vague Word: Use of vague word in communication causes problem because such word creates different meaning and therefore the message loses its appeal.

2. Use of Local Dialect: The tone of different region is different and therefore using local dialect in communication will obviously create adverse impression. This acts as barrier to communication.

3. Use of Different Languages: Communication may be done in different languages and receiver may not be expert in different languages. This causes barrier to communication.

4. Use of Technical Words: Receiver may fail to understand the meaning of technical words and therefore use of such words in communication hampers the whole communication.

D. Barriers due to Status: It occurs due to following reasons:
1. Status/ Position: Each and every person in different layers of organization wants to maintain individual status. He or she may not want to exchange any message or information which may hit to his or her status or prestige. Here, in this case, communication gets barriers to be effective.

2. Mental State: Sometimes, Receiver suspects the sender of message and does not rely on the message sent. Such mental state acts as a barrier to communication.

E. Barriers due to Resistance to Change:
1. Following the 'Old One': There are traditional people in every organization who always prefer the old customs and avoid any change because change involves flexibility. So, people who follow the 'Old One' act as a barrier to communication.

2. Lack of Attention: Sometimes, officers and subordinates of an organization do not pay attention enough to the message or information what is received. This is one of barriers to communication.

3. Own interpretation or Assumption: It happens that receiver of the message makes his own explanation or assumption regarding the message received. This leads to problem for communication.

F. Other Barriers: There are some other barriers to communication which are as follows:
1. Geographical Barrier: Geographical distance creates communication gap. For example, communication between Washington and California.

2. Lack of Harmony: If mutual understanding that exists between sender and receiver of communication is absent then communication is barred.

3. Faulty Expression: If communication fails to communicate the message in a correct way then receiver faces problem. So, faulty expression creates miscommunication or confusion.

4. Cultural Difference: Difference nations have different cultures. Lack of proper knowledge and wisdom  to the culture of receiver may be a reason of communication problem.

5. Absence of Feedback When there is a feedback from receiver,Communication becomes effective. Feedback creates awareness in the mind of sender regarding the communication and aids him to modify the quality of communication.

Consequently, Any problem, interference on on hindrance to the process of communication is identified as the barrier to communication. An organizational Authority must try to avoid these barriers to communication to make communication better and effective.