Communication Skills Communication Barriers
1. Physiological Barriers
Physiological barriers may result from individuals' personal discomfort, caused, for example, by ill health, poor eye sight, or hearing difficulties. These may also affect one‘s personality in many different and mostly negative ways. This can best be handled by working on developing a positive perception as certain physiological features contributing to barriers may not be curable.
2. Physical Barriers
Physical barriers include:
Office doors, barrier screens, separate areas for people of different status ·
Large working areas or working in one unit that is physically separate from Others.
Research shows that one of the most important factors in building cohesive teams is proximity. Proximity in different cultures is different and therefore needs to be taken in the right context. It has been observed that people coming from rural backgrounds with more physical space available may not feel comfortable in closed quarters as they tend to have larger personal spaces as compared to people living in urban conditions. This aspect alone can become a significant psychological barrier if they subconsciously feel ―threatened‖ by inadvertent ―invasion‖ of their personal space in case an urbanite approaches them in close proximity considering it as a normal personal space.
3. Cultural Barriers
Culture prescribes behavior. Humans can adapt to different culture once we come to accept it and appreciate that cultures are different so that we can be recognized from others and that no specific connotations need to be attached to one culture or the other.
4. Language Barriers
Language that describes what we want to say in our terms may present barriers to others who are not familiar with our expressions, buzz-words, and jargon. When we couch our communication in such language, it is a way of excluding others. In a global setting the greatest compliment we can pay another person is to talk in their language.
5. Interpersonal Barriers
Withdrawal is an absence of interpersonal contact. It is both refusals to be in touch with others.
6. Psychological Barriers
There are 3 types of psychological barriers would be discussed as they are the most common ones.
The problem with communicating with others is that we all see the world differently. A bad experience would perceptually block out unpleasant things. This could be in the shape of avoiding it and if that is not possible by altering the behaviors i.e., response types in different ways. Similarly, retention filters out things that feel good, and gives the tendency to forget those things that are painful. It is very interesting to note that how our experiences taint or color our perceptions. Perceptual barriers can significantly alter our understanding and thus affect our communication. They are deep rooted and work in conjunction with our experiences.
One of the other chief psychological barriers to open and free communication is the emotional barrier. It is comprised mainly of fear, mistrust, and suspicion. As mentioned earlier the roots of our emotional mistrust of others lie in our childhood and infancy when we were taught to be careful what we said to others.
Experiential barriers on the other hand become barriers by virtue of not having experienced them leading to altered interpretation and comprehension. Our experience shapes our view of the world. For example, when children experience trauma at the hands of trusted adults (especially family members) their emotional link with the adult world is severed, creating distrust. They are left with three companions: guilt, fear and feelings of inferiority.
Stereotypes are widely circulated ideas or assumptions about particular groups. Stereotypes are usually negative attitudes which people use to justify discrimination of conflict against others. According to Pennington (1986) ―there are two characteristics of stereotypes.
1. People are categorized on the basis of very visible characteristics e.g. race, nationality, sex, dress and bodily appearance;All members of a particular group are assumed to have the same characteristics.
2.The effects of stereotyping are seen as gross over simplified and over generalized descriptions. They operate to overestimate differences existing between groups and under estimate differences within groups.
Stereotypes distort reality since the over estimation between groups and under estimation within groups bear little relation to the truth. Stereotyping acts as a barrier to communication because people make pre- conceived judgment about people which are unfounded if their character does not relate to their appearance. Stereotyping has a halo effect. Halo effect is the use of a single attribute to describe a person or object fully. For example, if a person is friendly we may use this attribute to assume that they are punctual and good at their job. Another important aspect of stereotyping is perception.
Barriers to communication for one reason or the other often get neglected. Knowing them is synonymous to knowing about one‘s own barriers sprouting out of one‘s personality. Barriers to communication can lead to misunderstanding and confusion..