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Workplace Communication – How to Fight Through Barriers

You might be thinking that communication between two individuals is simple. But, it’s not so easy. Sometimes people go wrong while they are communicating. And, barriers to workplace communication can lead to co-worker alienation, arguments and misunderstandings. So, we need to overcome those barriers. There are seven types of barriers to effective communication.

1. Perceptual Barriers
2. Physical Barriers
3. Language Barriers
4. Emotional barriers
5. Physiological Barriers
6. Psychological Barriers
7. Cultural barriers

Here we have explained all the above mentioned barriers in workplace communication and how to overcome them:

1. Perceptual Barriers: Employees usually grow to perceive things in particular ways, thus, making it difficult to recognize new meanings. Every employee has his/her interests and values that prevent them to perceive an event in the same way. Therefore, due to invalid perceptions, employees recommend incorrect solutions. Education and intelligence affect everybody’s perceptions, along with an individual’s physiological, social and safety needs.

2. Physical Barriers: These are environmental elements that affect an employee’s ability to acquire or convey information. For example: loud talking, construction noises, etc. Also, the speaker’s appearance and manners affect his ability to convey his message to an audience. The listener’s seating arrangements and their physical comfort level also affect communication, since sitting in the back row of a large auditorium may prevent a listener from hearing the full presentation.

3. Language Barriers: Some words have different meanings for different people that makes the communication difficult. For example, an attorney may hear the word ‘trust’ and think of real property held by one party for another and a security engineer may relate ‘trust’ to the integrity of a computer system. Incorrect pronunciation, faulty grammar, complex sentences and spelling may also confuse listeners.

4. Emotional Barriers: These barriers can be difficult to overcome, but are important to put aside to engage in conversations. People often pick up on insecurity. So, have full confidence in what you are saying and your qualifications in saying it. By this, you will be able to communicate clearly without becoming overly involved in your emotions.

5. Physiological Barriers: There are the characteristics of the speaker or listener that interfere with the transmission or reception of information. For example, sleepiness may affect an employee’s concentration. Other issues like emotional distress, hunger, physical pain, depression and fatigue may also affect communication solutions.

6. Psychological Barriers: A negative attitude also influences an employee’s receptive to a message. For example, if an employee attends an ‘all-hands’ meeting regarding a company’s bankruptcy, his/her anger or fear may misinterpret the speaker’s message.

7. Cultural Barriers: These are the results of living in an ever shrinking world. Different cultures can hinder developed communication. So, it is important to find a common ground to work from. To find the communication solutions for this barrier in the workplace, identify a problem and come up with a highly efficient way to solve it.

These were the seven barriers to effective communication in a workplace. Also, communications solutions to these barriers are also explained above. Have you ever faced any difficulty while communicating with other people? How you solve it? Please share with us.