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Monday, April 11, 2011

Barriers to Effective Communication

Communication is a process beginning with a sender who encodes the message and passes it through some channel to the receiver who decodes the message. Communication is fruitful if and only if the messages sent by the sender is interpreted with same meaning by the receiver. If any kind of disturbance blocks any step of communication, the message will be destroyed. here are several barriers that affects the flow of communication. These barriers interrupt the flow of communication from the sender to the reciever, thus making communication ineffective. 
1. Physical barriers
Physical barriers in the workplace include:
marked out territories, empires and fiefdoms into which strangers are not allowed
closed office doors, barrier screens, separate areas for people of different status
large working areas or working in one unit that is physically separate from others.
As long as people still have a personal space that they can call their own, nearness to others aids communication because it helps us get to know one another.
2. Perceptual barriers
The problem with communicating with others is that we all see the world differently. If we didn't, we would have no need to communicate: something like extrasensory perception would take its place.
3. Emotional barriers
Another main barrier is the fear and mistrust that form the roots of our emotional barrier which stop us from communicating effectively with our co-workers.
4. Cultural barriers
The world is made up of diverse cultures. A cultural barrier arises when two individuals in an organization belong to different religions, states or countries.
5. Language barriers
Language that describes what we want to say in our terms may present barriers to others who are not familiar with our expressions, buzz-words and jargon. When we couch our communication in such language, it is a way of excluding others. In a global market place the greatest compliment we can pay another person is to talk in their language.
We need to understand that the native language of employees can be different from anyone else’s.
6. Gender barriers
There are distinct differences between the speech patterns in a man and those in a woman. A woman speaks between 22,000 and 25,000 words a day whereas a man speaks between 7,000 and 10,000. In childhood, girls speak earlier than boys and at the age of three, have a vocabulary twice that of boys.
This means that a man talks in a linear, logical and compartmentalized way, features of left-brain thinking; whereas a woman talks more freely mixing logic and emotion, features of both sides of the brain. It also explains why women talk for much longer than men each day.
7. Interpersonal barriers
There are six levels at which people can distance themselves from one another:
Withdrawal is an absence of interpersonal contact. It is both refusal to be in touch and time alone.
Rituals are meaningless, repetitive routines devoid of real contact.
Pastimes fill up time with others in social but superficial activities.
Working activities are those tasks which follow the rules and procedures of contact but no more.
Closeness is the aim of interpersonal contact where there is a high level of honesty and acceptance of yourself and others.

Working on improving your communications is a broad-brush activity. You have to change your thoughts, your feelings, and your physical connections.
That way, you can break down the barriers that get in your way and start building relationships that really work.

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