Effective communication requires messages to be conveyed clearly between communicators, but along the way there are many communication barriers that can create misunderstandings and misinterpretations of your message. Successful communication requires knowing what barriers to communication exist and how to navigate around these roadblocks.
Here is a list of some barriers to communication you should be aware of:
Physical Barriers – These barriers are those that separate people from each other and mark territories. This type of barrier can often be seen in the workplace where offices and closed doors stop communication.
Language Barriers – Not using words another can understand will certainly stop your message from being conveyed. This not only applies to actual languages, but that of expressions, buzz words, and other jargon. If one is not familiar with your language, misinterpretation will occur.
Gender Barriers – Variation exists among masculine and feminine styles of communication. While women often emphasize politeness, empathy, and rapport building, male communication is often more direct. Meshing these two styles without awareness could be become a barrier.
Interpersonal Barriers – These are barriers are created to distance themselves from others. These can be done through withdrawal, meaningless rituals which keep one devoid of real contact, superficial activities through pastimes, and more.
Perceptual Barriers – Different world views can create misunderstanding. Without thinking, one might only view a message from their mindset rather than looking to see it from another viewpoint.
Cultural Barriers – Ethnic, religious, and social differences can often create misunderstandings when trying to communicate. These differences can also affect perceptual factors, as mentioned above.
Emotional Barriers – Trouble listening can occur if one is consumed with emotion. Hostility, anger, fear, and other emotions make it hard to hear outside of one’s self.
Overcoming these barriers to communication is no easy task. It takes great awareness and a willingness to adapt and look at communication from new perspectives. But, if you begin to focus on how these communication barriers are affecting your everyday conversation, you will be well on your way to becoming an effective communicator.