The factors which obstruct the accurate and free flow of communication between the sender and the receiver are known as barriers of communication. In the process of communication certain amount of information is filtered, a certain part of it is distorted and some past part is misinterpreted. The information which passes from top to bottom or vice-versa does not provide accurate facts to the receiver. It, therefore, does not achieve the desired result. It is important that the sender of information must know the barriers or obstacles in the way of accurate and exact communication in order to manage the smooth flow of correct information to the receiver. Despite the development at a high speed, the communication is not so much successful. The barriers in the way of communication are as follows:
In modern business, the organizational structure has become very complex. There are different levels of the organization. The information sends downward or upward is bound to be delayed or distorted since it has to pass through a number of hands and a bit of information is filtered at every level of management. Informal communication is also a problem in the formal organization pattern. So, cross-checking is not possible. Thus, it is difficult to ensure that the right information has passed to the right person at right time through the right medium in a complex organization.
It refers to the barriers of communication that arise due to the words and symbols used for stating the facts and feelings. Different people may interpret the same message differently because it depends upon the outlook of an individual. The receiver may not understand the message due to its technical language. Thus, semantic barriers are caused during and coding and decoding of ideas and words. The sender and the receiver have to choose the same meaning, only then will the communication be perfect. But this does not happen in many cases.
Every organization has a status system. There are persons of higher and lower levels of status. The person with the higher status may fear to give the whole information to the person of the lower rank with the fear of competition from him. The person of lower rank would like to give the information which would please his superior. Thus, the managers do not get correct information from the supervisors and workers because of their superior position. Thus, the status is a barrier in the way of the smooth and correct flow of information.
It is a barrier to communication because of one’s interest and approach in life. There is a general tendency of people that they see what they like and assume it as the only reality. They pay attention to that part of communication that is of their interest. Thus, the perception of individuals may result in the filtration of the communication.
Some people have a tendency to form a judgment before listening to the entire message this is known as premature evaluation. Sometimes the receiver of communication jumps to the conclusion without receiving it completely. It rejects the new ideas without evaluating them objectively. So this attitude of the receiver obstructs the flow of communication.
Overloading of information
When the managers are flooded with information from all directions, they may not be able to transfer all the information to all persons who require it. It may happen due to a shortage of time they may overlook or misinterpret some messages. Thus, overloading information is one of the major barriers to communication.
Lack of attention
A person may not receive full information because of a lack of attention when it is transmitted. He may not be attentive because he is handling some more important job or he considers communication as useless. Sometimes extreme happiness or sadness or depression also results in carelessness.
Lack of mutual trust
Mutual trust and confidence facilitate the free flow of communication between the superior and the subordinates. If the management and the worker do not have any cordial relations and there is no trust and confidence between them then the communication cannot take place. If the source of communication is not trustworthy then the communication is rejected by the receiver. So, there should be trust between the management and the workers.
Lack of proper listening
Lack of proper listening is one of the major bottlenecks in the way of communication. It has been experienced that people arrived at their conclusion by just listening to a part of the message. Listening is the most neglected technique of communication .so if you want to remove the barrier of communication. so, you have to listen properly.
The success of communication also depends upon the emotions of the people. Some people may lose temper easily and immediately. They may not be able to communicate properly because of their bad temper. Some may be lethargic and so they may remain indifferent to communication .so the individual emotions of the people influence the flow of communication. For example: if the superior is in habit of losing his temper and the subordinate is scared to communicate with him freely and also that if the subordinate is of weak health then the superior will not be able to speak to him.
Sometimes the messages are inaudible or not too understandable due to the noise in the transmission system. It may result in distortions. So mechanical faults hamper the flow of correct information.
Personal judgment, complex attitude, etc. work as a barrier to the communication between the sender and the receiver of the message. The inferiority or superiority complex, inability to communicate, etc. widen the psychological gap between the sender and the receiver.
Physical barriers are also known as environmental barriers. A long-distance between the sender and the receiver of the message and the noise and other environmental factors make the communication less effective.
In the international environment, communication becomes more difficult. With globalization, the understanding of a language becomes too difficult. The same word, phrases, the symbol may mean differently to different people. If there is a great difference between the sender and receiver then there will be more misunderstanding.
Barriers due to resistance to change
It so happens that the employees do not want to change whenever any new scheme comes they resist change. They do not work and listen to anything. This affects communication. They think that their authority and responsibilities will be affected due to such changes and the average man is not ready to accept such changes.