Types of barriers in communication

Written by taffy wagner
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When communication barriers are present, it is difficult for the receiver of information to understand the message the sender is trying to convey. Critical parts of the message get lost. By familiarising yourself with the biggest barriers in communication, you can work toward overcoming them -- and becoming a far more effective communicator.

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Physical Barriers

This barrier is particularly important when speaking to a group or audience. If the audience perceives you as distant from them, looking down on them, or simply not reachable, then they will not be as receptive to the message you are trying to share. For example, if you are standing on a stage and never venture out into the audience, the distance itself can send a message contrary to the one you intend.

Lack of Common Experience

If you are using technical terms or other language your audience does not understand, you will miss the mark. Even an audience that should be sympathetic to you could end up providing negative feedback because you chose to speak only to your own level of knowledge or experience rather than considering theirs.

Language Barriers

Buzzwords, jargon and slang are very specialised. Using them will always prevent some portion of the potential audience from understanding your message. That includes people who might benefit from your message, if it were presented in a way they understood.

Gender Barrier

It has been demonstrated in studies that women communicate more on a regular basis than men do. Though both sexes have both kinds of communicators, women are more likely to be right-brain communicators -- abstract and intuitive. Men are more likely to be left-brain communicators -- linear and logical. Depending on your own make-up, this could be a barrier. Both men and women have to learn how to communicate in a way that allows both sexes to receive and understand the message.

Lack of Credibility

If it's evident that you're speaking strictly from book knowledge, rather than personal experience, or if your audience does not see how what you are saying could possibly be true, this creates a credibility problem. The audience will suspect that you don't know what you're talking about. As a sender, you need to make sure that the stories you tell don't lead the audience to question your credibility and authenticity.

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