There exist many barriers to communication and these may occur at any stage in the communication process.& Barriers may lead to your message becoming distorted and you therefore risk wasting both time and/or money by causing confusion and misunderstanding.& Effective communication involves overcoming these barriers and conveying a clear and concise message.& Some common barriers to effective communication include:
-The use of jargon, over-complicated or unfamiliar terms.
-Emotional barriers and taboos.
-Lack of attention, interest, distractions, or irrelevance to the receiver.
-Differences in perception and viewpoint.
-Physical disabilities such as hearing problems or speech difficulties.
-Physical barriers to non-verbal communication.
-Language differences and the difficulty in understanding unfamiliar accents.
-Expectations and prejudices which may lead to false assumptions or stereotyping.& People often hear what they expect to hear rather than what is actually said and jump to incorrect conclusions.
-Cultural differences.& The norms of social interaction vary greatly in different cultures, as do the way in which emotions are expressed. For example, the concept of personal space varies between cultures and between different social settings.
A skilled communicator must be aware of these barriers and try to reduce their impact by continually checking understanding and by offering appropriate feedback.
List the barriers to effective communication. What are the ways in which an organisation can overcome the barriers to communication? (5+5 = 10 marks)