Barriers to Effective Communication


Communication is the exchange of ideas, opinions and information through written or spoken words, symbols or actions.

Communication is an important part of our world today. The ability to communicate effectively is considered a prized quality. But people in the world are not alike. These differences, however, can cause problems in sending/receiving messages. Simply these are the hurdles in the way of communication and anything which blocks the meaning of a communication is a barrier to communication.


Barriers to Effective Business Communication

  1. Conventions of meaning
  2. Differences in perception of reality
  3. Values, attitudes and opinions

  1. Conventions of meaning

    There are a lot of meanings for a single word. So, it may mislead the reader from the real meaning. Miscommunication may occur due to the use of ‘Denotations’ and ‘Connotations’.

    Denotation is the dictionary definition of a word. It means name, object, people or events without indicating positive or negative qualities. These words don’t have clear meanings.
    Such words are: Car, Desk, Book, House, etc.

    A word that separates the meanings of a word from its usual definition is called connotation. These have clear meanings.
    Such words are:
    BMW, BC book, mental house etc.

    So, use of denotations instead of connotations may mislead the reader. Choose connotations & denotations wisely.

  2. Differences in perception of reality

    Because of changing world, everyone has its own concept of reality. Each person’s mental filter is unique. In our daily interactions with others, we make various abstractions, inferences and evaluations of the world around that may cause problems in the way of communication.

    It means selecting some detail and omitting others. It may cause problem in communication. One must always try to avoid Slanted statements. That’s why news reporters are said to quote the statement of a person as it is to show it a fact or true statement.

    It means conclusion on the basis of assumptions. But for some situations inferences proves fruitful but for some situations it is risky & sometimes dangerous.

    It is a person’s own perception or opinion towards a certain fact.

    So, difference in perception may become a hurdle in communication.

  3. Values, attitudes and opinions

    Communication is also affected by the Values, attitudes and opinions of the communicators. People react favorably when they receive agreeable message. Occasionally people react according to their attitude towards a situation rather than to the facts.

    Closed Minds
    Some people hold rigid views on certain subjects. They don’t consider facts and maintain their views. Such person is very hard to communicate with.

    Sender’s creditability
    Usually people react more favorably to that communicator who has credibility.

    So, Values, attitudes and opinions may also become hurdles in the way of communication.

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