How many of you have gossiped about your bosses and leaders lacking communication skills? A lot of us do right?
We say communication is an important part of our life, but are we taking it seriously? Research says, most conflicts happen because of ineffective communication. If individuals focus on enhancing their communication skills, they can achieve success faster than they believe.
But the fact is, effective communication isn’t easy. The 7 barriers of communication makes it challenging.
These are the barriers we face every day in our lives. We do not even realize certain things are stopping us from being effective. If we work on to destroy all these barriers, we can achieve effectivity in our communication.
7 Barriers Of Communication
Here are the communication barriers we need to know about –
1. Cultural Barriers To Communication
There are certain reasons why there’s lack of effective communication in terms of different cultures.
People coming from different cultures find it difficult to go along with other people. Be it in the workplace or colleges or public areas we meet people who are poles apart. Our perspectives mismatch and so, we even disrespect them unknowingly.
In some cultures, eye contact is not considered to be a respectful behavior, while in some eye contact is considered to be very essential during a conversation.
If both the culture comes together, there are chances of misconceptions and image issues. They may consider the other person disrespectful because their perspectives vary.
Likely, different cultural behaviors, accents, opinions make the communication uneasy and ineffective.
Cultural barriers include so many areas. Even people following community rules and regulations don’t go along with people who don’t. Some people would stop others or won’t do things others do and call it as an act of evil. But for other people, those things are just normal.
So, how to tackle cultural barriers of communication?
- Learn about different cultures
- Have a discussion with people coming from different culture
- Try to know their opinions and perspectives
- Respect their beliefs and behave in a way that doesn’t disrespect their culture
- Share about your culture, your perspectives and teachings
- Go for polite and calm conversation since we don’t know where they are coming from
2. Physical Barriers
Physical barriers are the common barriers to effective communication.
You can even improve cultural barriers but there’s always difficulty managing physical barriers.
Distance, time, weather, climate and technology are some of the examples of physical barriers.
You can anytime get disconnected on the call, you may face errors sending important emails, there’s too much distance between you and the person, or the technology may cut the important meetings.
The uneasy connection and lack of communication between you and the other person due to physical barriers makes the communication ineffective.
Some barriers also include separate working places, hotels, schools, etc for people with different status. It even gets irritating, stops productivity, creates internal conflicts and destroys relationships.
How to overcome physical barriers?
- Take care of the words you use in emails and chats
- Try to have personal meetings than digital
- Avoid distances during a conversation
- Stay away from noisy rooms, disturbances for an important call
- Choose words wisely with people coming from different status
- Use less technology for an effective communication
3. Gender Barriers
Gender barriers usually affect relationships. Even in the workplace, the thought process of men and women may lead to ineffective communication.
Women generally think emotionally. They take emotions, feelings, senses everything into consideration while talking. Whereas, men think logically. They talk logic and practicality.
Supposedly, you came home from work. Your wife is sitting near the window engrossed in deep thoughts. You put your bag and lie down to rest or you go to her to ask about her day. She starts telling everything that happened. Everything that affected her that day.
What you do is tell her to do these things instead of doing the other things. And she gets mad at you for not listening to her. At the end you both fight and ask her to not tell you when you don’t help her.
Why did this happen? Because women want to be heard and understood before solutions. They come to you to know whether what they do is right or not. Probably wishes to hear a yes and not a straight away no.
But they also appreciate suggestions and opinions rather a straight away solution.
Likely with men, if you tell your man you should have taken the other road we would have reached earlier, he will feel he’s not better. He is not capable enough to do it on his own that you had to suggest him. So, men don’t like suggestions. They want to do things on their own.
They don’t want anyone to tell them what to do. Same with their emotions. They will keep it with them and try to deal alone while women include women to deal things.
4. Emotional Barriers of Communication
Emotional barriers include irritation, anger and instant reactive behavior.
It even includes hiding agendas.
The conversation doesn’t end in a way it should have when you are angry. You don’t let people explain. You don’t look to the other side of the story. All you want is to be the right one.
Everybody else feel ignored, not heard and not understood. At the end, it turns into serious conflicts, silent treatments and unending arguments.
Hiding agendas are when you hide your emotions. You don’t talk about it. You let your feelings get stronger inside. When it gets heavy, you puke.
All this make communication ineffective because they don’t resolve the issues. And the problems get bigger.
People also face social anxiety and body image issues which leads to emotional barriers of communication. They hesitate to talk in front of the crowd. They avoid meeting a group of people or going to family functions because what if anyone makes fun of them.
How can you overcome this barriers?
You can improve your emotional intelligence and self-esteem behaviors. Once you improve your confidence, become comfortable in your body, become comfortable in your disabilities, you perform well.
5. Language Barriers
Every conversation needs a language. Even if you converse in signs, you are using a language.
The helplessness you feel while using a language to communicate is called language barrier. Language barriers are considered the most common barriers of communication.
People with English as primary language find it difficult to communicate with people who have English as secondary language. You don’t understand the language of others while travelling. You will find difficulty in figuring out areas, places, things or anything of that sort.
Language barriers also lead to misunderstandings and conflicts. People may have the same language but due to different accents and dialects, the meanings and interpretation of the word may differ.
Overcoming barriers to effective communication –
- Use repetition
- Learn 7cs of communication
- Use translation services
- Be familiar with common words and their meanings
- Be respectful
- Clear misunderstandings if you face any
6. Bad Listener
The inability to listen to people for longer is also a communication barrier. People around you will feel unheard. May even lead to interpersonal conflicts.
They will feel you are ignorant, you don’t understand and unsupportive person. And you may keep explaining to them that it is not what you think.
Being a good listener is one of the interpersonal skills. If you enhance it, it will enhance you. It will keep your relationships stronger and healthy.
So, to be heard you also need to hear your loved ones, your colleagues, your family members.
7. Psychological Barriers To Communication
Psychological barriers are also connected to emotional barriers to communication.
If a person is not confident about oneself, he will always be distracted during a conversation. He may feel judged and not listen to what someone is saying. May even consider the other person as superior.
The lower self-esteem behaviors causes ineffective communication. If you work on your confidence, be comfortable in your disabilities, you won’t face communication barriers.
People only judge us when we let them judge us. If you are comfortable at who you are, no one feels the power to break the confidence. Now you know what you got to do.
The 7 barriers of communication allow us to stay alert and improve our communication skills. You never know who or what you may come across with. If you know the barriers, you can overcome them easily. And to help you have effective communication, this was my small contribution.
Have a good day.