Resolving and defining the obstacles to communication
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Dec 16th, 2019

Resolving and defining the obstacles to communication

For any type of communication to reach your goals, it is essential that the recipient attributes the same interpretation to the communication as intended by the sender of the communication. But all works of communication aren’t perfect or successful. Sometimes, some interpretation is lost as the communication encounters various obstacles along its passage between your sender and the recipient. Such barriers may happen at the stages by which a message goes by during the procedure for communication. This is also known as miscommunication.

Some of the common issues that lead to the failing of communication are: noise, cultural differences, complexity of subject material, personal biases, semantic problems, socio-psychological barriers, filtering, information overload, poor retention, poor being attentive, goal conflicts, slanting, inferring, etc.

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Barriers to communication can be categorized as follows on the basis of the level of the communication process where the problem/s occur:

a. Sender-oriented barriers: lack of planning, lack of clarity about the purpose of communication, improper selection of words producing a badly encoded meaning, difference in conception, wrong choice of the channel, unjustified presumptions, etc.

b. Receiver-oriented barriers: poor being attentive, lack of interest, difference in notion, biased attitude, etc.

c. Channel-oriented obstacles: noise, incorrect selection of medium, technical problems in the address system or the medium of communication chosen by the sender, time and distance, etc.

We may establish communication as a psycho-semantic process. Therefore, the obstacles that affect the potency of communication are mainly of social-psychological-linguistic mother nature. These factors may respond after any or all the elements of the process of communication, that is, the sender or the receiver or the route. And a standard barrier for both the sender and the recipient could possibly be the absence of a frame of research which often contributes to the breakdown of communication in a specific situation.

Common framework of guide is the context in which communication takes place. A well-defined framework helps the sender and the device to comprehend this content of the message in a similar way, in regards to to its implications and so this means. Many of the barriers listed above are easy to understand. But those hateful pounds may require an in depth explanation.


Barriers to communication can be categorised into the pursuing broad categories: 1) Physical or environmental barriers, 2) Physiological or natural barriers, 3) Semantic or words obstacles, 4) Personal obstacles, 5) Emotional or perceptional obstacles, 6) Socio-psychological obstacles, 7) Cultural barriers, and 8) Organizational obstacles.


Physical obstacles are those barriers which are induced due to some technical defects in the mass media used for communication and/or due to certain disturbances in the encompassing environment.

Often, the word ‘noises’ can be used as a blanket term to make reference to the physical barriers in general. But sound, in its literal sense, is also one of the factors that give grow to the physical barriers during the process of communication.

Besides noise, incorrect collection of medium, lack of acoustics, poor lighting, frequent motions of hands, fiddling with a pen, or even offering of tea during an important dialogue- all of these are also in charge of creating physical obstacles in the communication process.

a. Noise

Noise is the first major hurdle to communication. Communication is distorted by noises that crops up at the transmitting level.

The meaning related to the term ‘noise’ in the field of Communication comes from the realm of Physics. In Physics, noises identifies “a disturbance, especially a arbitrary and persistent disturbance, which obscures or reduces the quality of a sign”.

The modern-day connotation of the term ‘noises’ is “irrelevant or meaningless data” as is clear from its usage in neuro-scientific Computer Knowledge.

For example, the noises of the traffic around a institution obstructs the simple movement of information between the teacher and the students. It creates dental communication difficult. Likewise, poor indication or static while conversing over the cellphone or while using the general population address system or while you’re watching TV also distorts the sound impulses and disrupts communication. Inclement weather conditions may also sometimes interfere with the transmitting of signals and may lead to breakdown of the communication programs.

As talked about above, noise isn’t only the disruption of sound signals, but it also includes all the barriers that may occur at any of the various levels of communication. In a broad sense, it denotes semantic barriers, perceptional barriers as well as emotional barriers.

b. Time and Distance

Time and distance may also obstruct the simple stream of information. Today, because of technical advancements, we have faster means of communication open to us which in turn has made the entire world an inferior place. But sometimes, these means of communication may well not be easy to get at because of unavailability or scheduled to technological/technological problems. This may lead not and then a physical but also a communication difference between the transmitter and the device.

Time differences between people living in two different countries may influence communication between them. Even people working in different shifts in the same business may also face problems in interacting effectively.

Improper seating agreement in a school room or in a discussion hall could also act as a hurdle to effective communication as it is difficult to maintain eye contact with one’s audience.

Thus, communication can achieve success only when the communicators have the ability to overcome the obstacles by minimizing the hurdles that appear anticipated to spatial and temporal factors.

c. Wrong Selection of Medium

This can also produce a hurdle to effective communication. For instance, if a specialist uses graphs or graphs or PowerPoint presentations to orient the illiterate staff or volunteers to a fresh approach to working, these are bound to be ill-equipped to infer any information or instructions from such superior presentations.

d. Surroundings

Adverse weather conditions impact not only the method of communication, but also have a direct effect on the sender and the receiver of the note. When two people have to communicate with each other under extreme climate, whether too hot or too cold, their surroundings does have a direct repercussion on the potency of the exchange that occurs between them.

Thus, environmental factors determine people’s feelings and also affect their mental agility and thus their capacity to talk effectively. Extreme warmth and humidity make people either hyper or listless and thus cause huge stress which impacts clear thinking and the attitude of the communicator; whereas, extreme cold weather induces laziness and also impedes the capability to think clearly and reply sharply, thereby triggering communication failing.


Physiological obstacles are related to someone’s health and fitness. These may happen anticipated to disabilities that could have an effect on the physical capability of the sender or the receiver. For example, poor eyesight, deafness, uncontrolled body activities, etc.

Physical defects in one’s body may also disrupt communication. While communicating, a person uses-

his vocal (talk) organs to produce sound/speech

his hands and fingertips to write

his ears to take the spoken words

his eyes to absorb the written words

Flawless functioning of the body organs is unavoidable for effective communication to take place. In case of any defect in any of these organs, the successful conclusion of communication will be difficult to accomplish.

Speaking can be adversely damaged by stammering, fumbling, utterance of poor sounds credited to faulty vocal organ/s, etc.

Listening can be rendered ineffective because of this of defective hearing. Deafness- total or partial- obstructs the absorption of sound signals. This brings about information damage.

Writing can neglect to convey the subject matter successfully because of illegible handwriting due to hand harm, extreme trembling of the hand or hands, numbness, etc.

Reading can be damaged anticipated to poor eyesight. Faulty vision impedes the reading capability of the receiver. Words can happen hazy, shattered, overlapping, etc. to the receiver’s eyesight.

To beat such barriers, one must avail oneself of the necessary medical treatment (for defects in the body organs), remedy (to boost conversation) or corrective supports (like hearing help, spectacles, etc. ).

4. 2. 3 SEMANTIC OR Terminology BARRIERS

Semantics is the organized study of the meaning of words. Thus, the semantic barriers are barriers related to terminology. Such barriers are issues that arise during the procedure for encoding and/or decoding the communication into words and ideas respectively.

Both the oral and the written communication derive from words/symbols that happen to be ambiguous in characteristics. Words/symbols may be used in a number of ways and could have several meanings. Unless the device knows the context, he might interpret the words/icons regarding to his own degree of understanding and may thus misinterpret the meaning.

The most frequent semantic obstacles are shown as under:

a. Misinterpretation of Words

Semantic problems often arise because of the gap between your meaning as designed by the sender and that as realized by the device. This happens when the recipient does not assign the same so this means to the term/symbol as the transmitter experienced intended.

Words are capable of expressing a number of meanings depending after their consumption, i. e. in the framework in which these are used. The relationship between the expression/symbol and the meaning allocated to it is of arbitrary aspect.

For example, the word ‘yellowish’ when used as an adjective can have multiple connotations depending upon its use. Words have two levels of interpretation- literal (descriptive) and metaphorical (qualitative). ‘Yellow’, besides being truly a primary colour, also means ‘freshness’, ‘beauty’, ‘sickness’, ‘decay’, etc. Hence, the device is absolve to interpret it in any of the ways based on his own thoughts and experience.

But for communication to be perfect, it is essential that the device must assign to it the same meaning which the sender experienced in his mind’s eye while encoding the subject matter. Therefore, there’s always a opportunity of misinterpretation of the text messages. Usually, such problems arise when the sender will not use simple and clear words that can convey the exact interpretation to the device.

b. Use of Technical Language

Technical or special language which is used by people or specialists who work in the same field is known as jargon. Such technical language can be considered a hurdle to communication if the recipient of the subject matter is unfamiliar with it. For instance, in the computer jargon, ‘to lose a CD’ means ‘to duplicate the data on a CD’. Into a layman, the term ‘shed’ may employ a different connotation.

c. Ambiguity

Ambiguity arises when the sender and the recipient of the meaning attribute different meanings to the same words or use different words to mention the same interpretation. Sometimes, wrong and speculative assumptions also lead to ambiguity. A sender often assumes that his audience would understand the problem as he does indeed or have the same judgment about an issue or understand the note as he is aware of it, etc. All such assumptions may turn out to be wrong and cause communication inability.


Communication is social in character. Thus, there are specific barriers that are directly from the persons mixed up in communication process, i. e. the sender and the device, which impact the accurate transfer of the communication. These are called personal barriers.

Personal barriers have to do with the age, education, pursuits and needs or motives that differ from individual to individual.

When one communicates, s/he addresses an audience that could belong to different age-groups. With time, one’s choices, preferences and interests undergo enormous changes. So one has to think about this factor while communicating in order to check on the opportunity of communication failure.

Difference in education is another essential aspect. It establishes the sender’s capacity to think, to create an intelligible subject matter and to express it successfully. Alternatively, it also influences the receiver’s capacity to read/listen, to understand and to respond to the note that he obtains. Thus, difference in education can hamper the successful encoding and/or decoding of the meaning, if proper care is not taken by the sender and/or the recipient.

In any business company, the frame of mind of the superiors and the subordinates play a essential role in identifying the success of communication. In case the superiors have a hostile frame of mind, then there are chances that they may filter the info or manipulate the concept, sometimes intentionally, to be able to accomplish certain selfish motives.

Many superiors are not open to ideas and responses as they presume that their subordinates aren’t with the capacity of advising them. Also, they often times have a tendency to keep too occupied with work and don’t pay much focus on communication. Due to this, the downward move of information within the organization is badly influenced and this subsequently causes poor performance.

Besides, the superiors often exercise their expert by insisting that the subordinates should approach them only through proper formal stations of communication. If, under any circumstances, the subordinates make an effort to connect to the superiors immediately, then they may take criminal offense as they understand such an look at as difficult to their position of electricity. Such an attitude thus becomes a barrier to effective communication.

On the other hands, there are specific factors that affect the involvement of the subordinates in upward communication. Insufficient confidence and fear are the principal explanations why the subordinates neglect to talk openly and pleasantly with the superiors.

If they believe that some information may, in some way, harm their potential customer/interest in the organization, then they would rather conceal such information. In case, if that’s not possible, then they filter the info in order that they cannot be performed responsible for the same.

Moreover, when the superiors do not support the effective engagement of the subordinates in the functioning of the business by motivating them to exchange their ideas and to give suggestions that could donate to the success of the organization, the subordinates become indifferent to such reciprocity which creates a hurdle to upward communication. When the subordinates feel that their ideas and suggestions are of no value to the superiors, then they do not feel encouraged to mention the same.

Therefore, based on the above discussion, we may conclude that personal barriers have their source in the attitude of the sender as well as the device. Personal barriers often lead to distortion, filtering, and omission of information and therefore have an adverse effect on the fidelity of communication.


Emotional or perceptional obstacles are meticulously associated with personal barriers. Personal barriers come up from motives and attitudes (as seen above), whereas mental or perceptional barriers have an extra dimension that includes sentiments and emotions as well.

If the recipient does not evaluate the information with an wide open head, i. e. objectively, his judgment/evaluation would be colored along with his biases and/or his feelings, thus inducing him to learn too much into a message. This would hinder the exact transfer of information and cause misinterpretation.

Such a hurdle may also emerge during encoding the meaning. Over enthusiasm on the part of the sender may lead him to invest his note with meaning/s which he might actually not have intended to.

Besides, too much hostility or passivity for either the sender or the receiver, while communicating, also offers an adverse influence on the success of communication. Also, an excessive amount of sentiment thwarts reason and sometimes, the communicator, blinded by his own sentiments, makes impulsive judgments or illogical decisions. This also results the break down of communication.

Indolence, apathy, or the inclination to procrastinate, either for the sender or the receiver, also lead to withholding of important information thus making a barrier. Extreme feelings like euphoria, enjoyment, anger, stress, depressive disorder, etc. also block the way of effective communication. Each one of these factors may create biases in your brain of the sender or the receiver.

Therefore, the sender and the device may encode and decode the note respectively as per their own perceptions, track record, needs, experience, etc. Which leads to a distinct kind of exchange of ideas and opinions as well. They tend to obfuscate the truth and see what they want to see. This is also one kind of filtering that takes place through the communication process.


Socio-psychological barriers can even be considered as one of the offshoots of the personal barriers, akin to the perceptional barriers. We need to examine it as a subcategory of personal obstacles just because a person’s attitude is designed not only by his instincts and feelings, but also by his strategy towards and his connection with individuals around him, and hence the need for this fine distinction between your personal, the perceptional and the socio-psychological obstacles.

a. Position Consciousness

To get started with, the consciousness of your respective position within an organization impacts the two-way movement of communication. A vertical route of communication is present in every business, but its efficiency is heavily affected by the partnership between your superiors and the subordinates. Though many organizations are actually becoming familiar with the open door insurance plan, the psychological distance between the superiors and the subordinates still prevails. Position consciousness is thus one of the major barriers to successful communication.

b. Difference in Perception

Moreover, in a communication situation, the communicators have to deal with two areas of the fact- the main one as they see it and the other as they understand it. Your brain filters the concept i. e. the words/icons/ signs and attributes indicating to them, matching to individual perception.

Each individual has his own distinctive filtration, shaped by his/her experience, emotional makeup, knowledge, and state of mind which s/he has gained over a period of time. As a result of this difference in perceptions, different individuals respond to the same word/symbol/sign based on their own understanding of the situation and ascribe meaning to it based on their unique filter.

At times, this difference in belief causes communication gap, i. e. distortion, in the meaning. In face-to-face communication, this distance can be easily removed as there may be immediate feedback. However in written communication, the semantic distance between the supposed meaning and the interpreted so this means remains unidentified, as the opinions is delayed or sometimes there is absolutely no feedback by any means.

c. Prejudices

Besides, a person with deeply ingrained prejudices is very difficult to talk to. He’s not attentive to discussion or to new ideas, information, viewpoints and opinions. He has a closed down mind and will respond antagonistically, thus ruling out all likelihood of communication. An unreceptive brain can, hence, be considered a great barrier in communication. To defeat this hurdle, people should be receptive of new ideas and must learn to pay attention considerately with an available mind.

d. Halo/Horn Effect

Also, sometimes the listener may be too much in awe of or may completely distrust a loudspeaker. In both these circumstances, the chances of success of the communication are incredibly less.

e. Information Overload

Furthermore, information overload causes poor retention and causes information reduction. So, whenever there is some important information to be conveyed, the communicators must use the written route of communication.

On the basis of the aforementioned discussion, we may thus conclude that the socio-psychological factors do have a profound impact on the effectiveness of communication.


Culture is “the totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, organizations, and all other products of human being work and thought. Culture is learned and shared within social groupings and is transmitted by non-genetic means. ” (American History Dictionary, 2005)

From this explanation, we can infer that culture is the sum total of ideas, traditions, arts, rituals, skills, etc. of a group of people. It is handed down from generation to generation in the form of conventions, traditions, rules, codes of do, etc. Putting it simple, culture is “the shared ways that groups of men and women understand and interpret the entire world. ” (F. Trompenaars, Riding the Waves of Culture: Understanding Diversity in Global Business; 1994)

Each group, classified based on nationality, ethnicity, race, religious beliefs, etc. has its own distinctive culture. Thus, there are varied subcultures that co-exist within a significant culture. Such enormous cultural diversity takes on a very vital role in communication as it has an extensive influence on both verbal and non-verbal communication and could therefore create obstacles to effective communication.

Cultural differences give rise to significant amounts of complexity in the encoding and the decoding of announcements not only because of the difference in languages, but also because of plenty of culture-specific assumptions at the job in your brain of the sender as well as the receiver.

People owned by different cultures may connect different meanings to words, symbols, gestures, and behavior or they could perceive each others’ cultural values, body gestures, frame of mind to space distancing and time, communal behavior and manners, etc. , i. e. the entire culture generally, very in different ways depending after their own benchmarks, attitudes, traditions, prejudices, thoughts, behavioral norms, etc. , i. e. their own distinctive culture.

Thus, cultural barriers occur when people belonging to different cultures insist upon preserving their social identities and sometimes, evaluate the other ethnicities as inferior to their own.

(For an in depth discussion on the many elements that can create ethnical barriers, refer Chapter 6 International Communication)


Organizational framework greatly influences the circulation of information in a corporation. Some major organizational barriers are the following:

a. Goal Conflicts

There may be goal issues within the organization between the superiors and the subordinates, among people employed in different departments, among the list of colleagues, etc. This may build a hostile atmosphere within the business and can lead to serious communication break down.

b. Organizational Policies

These are also to a great magnitude responsible for identifying the kind of rapport that individuals employed in the same group share with each other. In case the organizational plan is such that it restricts the free move of information everywhere (refer Section 7 Formal and Informal Sites of Communication), then communication wouldn’t normally be successful. In some organizations, there may be rules to limit the movement of certain text messages which may deter employees from conveying those text messages, however important they may be.

If an organization favours the wide open door insurance policy, the subordinates wouldn’t normally feel timid or hesitant to approach their superiors immediately. But in the organizations where in fact the formal stations of communication need to be strictly honored, the superiors and the subordinates show an awkward marriage. They experience a lot of discomfiture while interacting with each other. Because of this, the aim of communication may never be achieved.

c. Organizational Hierarchy

The hierarchical composition of the business may also impede the flow of information and this can cause wait in taking decisions. Once the message passes over the chain of order in an business, there are likelihood of filtering and distortion of the concept at nearly every level before it gets to the intended recipient. Thus, the hierarchical structure of the organization is also one of the important factors that may make a hurdle to effective communication.

Barriers to effective communication can be summarized as under:

Physical Barriers: sound, view, size, light, location, distance, time, surroundings, environment, infrastructural facilities, etc.

Physiological Barriers:

Speaking- stammering, fumbling, utterance of improper sounds anticipated to defect in talk, etc.

Listening- ability to hear impairment, deafness, etc.

Writing- illegible handwriting scheduled to uncontrolled palm activities like trembling, numbness, etc.

Reading- difficulty in reading anticipated to poor eyesight, perceiving the written words as hazy, unclear and overlapping, etc.

Differential Obstacles: difference in age, education, needs, interests, intention or purpose building a communication gap between the speaker/writer and the listener/reader.

Intellectual Barriers: use of foreign language, pronunciation, style, build, vocabulary, etc.

Socio-Cultural Obstacles: race, religion, culture, patterns, behaviour, social beliefs and manners, etc.

Psychological Barriers: attitude, ambiance, nature, ego, prejudice, jealousy, rivalry, nervousness, excitement, etc.

Organizational Barriers: status, hierarchy, policies, filtering, manipulation, etc.

On the foundation of the above mentioned discussion, we may thus sum up that barriers to communication are “the aspects of or conditions in a place of work- such as position differences, gender variances, cultural variations, prejudices, and the organizational environment- that hinder effective exchange of ideas or thoughts. ” (Business Dictionary)

However, there are specific specific strategies that will help us to surmount these obstacles and achieve the purpose of communication. They are discussed in detail in the next section.


On the foundation of the many types of communication barriers listed in the last section, let us now discuss certain strategies that would help us to beat these barriers and thus improve communication.

As effective communication is vital for the success of a company group, the communicators must take care to remove the obstacles in the form of communication, to the best extent possible.

In communication, it isn’t enough and then know the message. For communication to be complete, the meaning must be understood by the audience. The communicator stocks his meaning through the medium of words- spoken or written, through gestures, through icons, etc. Thus, from this we can infer that communication, whether verbal or nonverbal, is symbolic in characteristics.

These two areas of communication determine the fundamental difference between effective and inadequate communication. If an idea/information may but not fully recognized by the receiver, then your communication will be ineffective.

The sender can know if the note has been known by the recipient through his response, i. e. opinions.

The pursuing are some basic recommendations for the sender and the recipient of the note:

For the Sender of the Message

At the outset, that the sender should reveal the purpose of his meaning and the key topics that he would deal with. In so doing, he prepares the recipient for what is to follow. This helps the receiver to identify the main things of the concept, to recognize the hyperlink on the list of important ideas that the concept contains also to coordinate them in a important pattern in his mind.

The note should be compact and the sender should concentrate exclusively on the primary ideas or information that he intends to mention. Moreover, the sender should situate his ideas in an appropriate context so the audience will assess and interpret them within that common body of reference which the sender has mentioned or recommended.

While communicating, the sender should, at all times, emphasize quite factors of the concept by making use of bulleted lists, chart, graphs, illustrations, body language, shade, pitch, etc. He also needs to provide a summation by the end of his display or write-up. This can help the receiver to understand the overall interpretation of the note, thus so that it is easy to comprehend the many parts, i. e. ideas, in relation to the overall platform.

The sender should set up the ideas/information so that it’s attractive to the audience’s visual and/or auditory senses. In written communication, the copy writer may employ an attractive design and good quality newspaper to entice the visitors’ attention.

While conversing orally, the sender must take the time to minimize noises. He should ensure that his area are well-equipped with the necessary acoustics. He should pay special attention to his cosmetic expressions, gesture, and vision connection with the audience at the time of delivering the message.

The sender should be clear about why he wishes to connect and his note should be correct and well-structured. He should take care to select a proper route or medium so that the impact of note is not lost in transmitting. He should send his communication through an effective channel i. e. remember his audience and the purpose of the message and should select a route where there are less chances of distortion.

The sender should stay away from grandiloquent words in order to avoid the likelihood of misinterpretation of the overall interpretation of the subject matter. The sender should neither load the device with information overload nor should he provide him too little information. He should identify his audience before encoding the communication so that he has learned what his audience may know and in what framework he should place his note.

The sender should formulate and deliver his communication in such a way that it keeps the audience’s involvement in what he intends to convey. He must do away with all his prejudices and preconceived notions and must converse clearly and with an open mind. Each one of these would enable him to have an audience-centric approach while encoding his communication.

For the Receiver of the Message

In the initial stage of the communication process, the onus is completely on the sender of the message. However in the later level, the receiver performs an active role once he begins absorbing and handling the information in his mind. Thus, the device of the subject matter also takes on an similarly important role in the successful conclusion of communication.

Not all obstacles are sender-oriented. The obstacles arising from the medial side of the recipient are known as receiver-oriented barriers. The foremost hurdle on the part of the device is poor retention. If the note being conveyed is of intricate nature, he may lose an eye on the context in which the sender has initiated communication. To overcome this hurdle, the recipient must develop the behavior of noting down the important factors.

If the recipient has a problem in concentrating on the meaning or if he is not considering this issue being mentioned, this too could have a direct affect on his ability to pay attention effectively. To be able to package with such situations, the recipient should accustom his mind to soak up and assimilate a myriad of information by causing a conscious effort to generate affinity for and concentrate after what’s being conveyed.

When the receiver is too judgmental about the concept being provided or too critical of the design of delivery of the sender, it creates a hurdle as the receiver totally misses out on the actual sender is really trying to speak. Thus, the device should avoid being judgmental and really should not maintain a hurry to judge the message without being aware of the precise context in which it articulated.

Prejudices can also produce a barrier in the mind of the device at the time of the reception and decoding of the message. If the device is indifferent to or has any presumptions about the sender or what he is trying to put across, then his biases will generate a mental stop and hinder his ability to evaluate the content of the concept objectively and judiciously. This can lead to misinterpretation of the communication and communication will fail.

Thus, the device must take in new ideas/information with an open mind and should not let his biases influence his conception and reasoning capacity. People with deep-rooted biases and a rigid state of mind tend to be resilient to new ideas. Such inflexibility hampers listening and causes miscommunication. Hence, both sender and device should be receptive of new ideas to be able to conquer such mental health and personal barriers.

To sum up, most of the obstacles in communication can be triumph over if the sender encodes his message in a and exact manner, departing no room for misinterpretation or miscommunication, and when the device acquires effective listening skills and gives an appropriate and timely reviews.

When the communicators are able to surmount the obstacles and flourish in exchanging their ideas/views/information with no omission, filtering or distortion, communication is thought to have achieved its purpose.

Let us now discuss how effective communication may be accomplished in a business firm.

Business organizations should adopt an open door policy in any way levels. There should be an atmosphere of trust and assurance in the business so the communication gap between the superiors and the subordinates may be reduced.

Organizational hierarchies and plans shouldn’t deter the free move of information in a corporation. The superiors must encourage their subordinates to speak without hesitation. Such two-way communication in a corporation will definitely help minimize the communication distance between your employees.

The subordinates should be urged to participate in the decision-making process and also in fixing problems or dispelling crises situations in an corporation. Their ideas and efforts should be appreciated as this would motivate them to create innovative ideas/solutions and talk about them with their superiors with some conviction. Providing an available environment which is conducive to free relationship one of the employees will demonstrate beneficial and can contribute to the growth and success of the business.

The simplification, decentralization, and democratization of the communication network in a group will definitely assist in improving communication and rendering it effective. There must be frequent meetings, meetings, etc. and the management should ensure that the subordinates take an active part in the functioning of the organization i. e. not only by performing the orders or undertaking the instructions passively but also by adding to the formulation of organizational insurance policies and by posting their knowledge and experience which can in turn help the superiors to make better business decisions. Such a participative and democratic strategy would lessen the communication barriers to great extent.

In short, running a business communication there are chances of communication inability because the concept isn’t just complex in itself but also the stages by which it passes makes it susceptible to various interferences, i. e. barriers- semantic, personal, internal, and/or organizational.

To turn into a successful communicator, one must keep in mind the aforementioned guidelines in order to conquer the communication obstacles and to connect effectively.


In this section, we have talked about the meaning of the word ‘barrier’ in the framework of the communication process. We have also listed and analysed in detail the various types of obstacles that obstruct communication and frequently lead to communication inability. We have outlined the significant top features of each kind of hurdle, at what stage it occurs and how exactly it influences our communication.

Lastly, we have mentioned some specific ways in which the sender as well as the recipient may buffer the incident of a few of the common barriers by firmly taking certain measures that assist retain and/or enhance the success of communication.


Barrier: (in communication) any factor that obstructs the move of information

Channel-oriented barriers: obstacles that arise through the transmission of the message

Decentralization: “the policy of delegating decision-making expert down to the low levels within an organization, relatively from and lower in a central authority”

Democratization: diffusion of decision-making electric power throughout the organisation

Distortion: (in communication) manipulation of the info whether deliberate or unintentional

Filtering: (in communication) keeping of essential information because of proper reasons, or to maintain confidentiality, or for certain selfish motives

Inferring: to derive bottom line on the basis of what one feels or has learned to be correct

Information overload: the state to be burdened with too much information

Miscommunication: (in communication) communication failing due to life of some hurdle in the communication process

Open door policy: (in business) policy in which the superiors of a business leave their office door ‘wide open’ to encourage upwards communication

Organizational hierarchy: an layout of men and women in a ranked series within an organisation

Receiver-oriented barriers: obstacles that come up during decoding of the message

Retention: potential to hold on to information in memory

Semantic: relating to language

Sender-oriented obstacles: obstacles that arise during encoding of the message

Slanting: to twist information for one’s own benefit

Socio-psychological: relating to social and mental factors

Surroundings: the external conditions, the environment



What do you understand by the word ‘barriers to effective communication’? Discuss the major barriers that lead to communication failing.

What are the factors in charge of miscommunication in a small business organization?

How does words act as a hurdle to effective communication?

Write short records on:

a) Sender-oriented obstacles b) Receiver-oriented barriers

c) Channel-oriented barriers

“For successful communication, the recipient must attribute the same interpretation to the message as supposed by the sender of the note. ” Discuss.

Write short records on:

a) Ambiguity b) Slanting c) Filtering d) Noise e) Sealed mind

Discuss physical obstacles to effective communication and suggest ideal measures to get over them.

“Personal barriers have their source in the attitude of the sender as well as the recipient. ” Explain.

Write a note on perceptional barriers.

Examine the many socio-psychological obstacles to effective communication and discuss methods to triumph over them.

Write a crucial note on ethnic barriers. Discuss at length the many elements that may lead to communication breakdown in the framework of intercultural communication.

Write an email on organizational obstacles and discuss the steps to conquer them.

What are the two important aspects that determine the essential difference between effective and inadequate communication? Just how do they impact effective communication?

What, according for you, will be the essential strategies which can help the sender and the device of the subject matter to converse effectively by minimizing or eliminating the obstacles?

What are the various measures a business business should embark on to ensure even circulation of information within the business?


What kind of barriers develops when words suggest different things to differing people?

a) Psychological barriers b) Organisational barriers

c) Semantic obstacles d) Cultural barriers

Mental blocks can be removed by

a) giving accurate feedback b) being attentive carefully

c) being available to changes d) getting together with the audience

Lack of interest in a topic is

a) a sender-oriented barrier b) a channel-oriented barrier

c) a receiver-oriented hurdle d) a language-oriented barrier

Poor retention can be conquer by

a) repeating main points b) maintaining vision contact

c) ability to hear d) filtering

Information overload is-

a) barrier b) idea c) meaning d) paralanguage

There would be no semantic barriers if

a) everyone spoke the same language

b) everyone belonged to the same culture

c) all people possessed good tuning in skills

d) none of these

Semantic problem relates to

a) badly portrayed message b) so this means associated with words

c) motive of the loudspeaker d) body language of the speaker

Hierarchy in a company means

a) a panel for promotion b) graded degrees of employees

c) formulation for calculating extra d) top level management

Filtering is a sensation where

a) useless workers are sacked

b) inefficient staff is penalized

c) a note is distorted for several selfish motives

d) move of information is impeded

Physical barriers may arise during the communication process due to-

a) the sender b) the recipient c) the medium d) ideas



1. Computer malfunction a. Semantic barrier

2. Wandering head b. Physical barrier

3. Ambiguity c. Physiological barrier

4. Blurred eye-sight d. Psychological barrier


Switch on a news channel and watch a debate or a discourse on some concern. Identify if the communicators’ arguments are plainly understandable. If yes, then list all the features that you think made their communication effective. If not, then summarize the obstacles to effective communication in your own life.

For every day, notice yourself as a communicator. Jot down records on your performance both as the sender and the recipient of messages. On the basis of your evaluation, find out whether there have been any obstacles to your communication. List them all and make an effort to understand why they took place and what you should do to beat them.

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