We are bound to use interpersonal communication every day, whether at work, at home or anywhere else. Any communication starts with a message, encoded by the sender and then sent through a certain communication channel to be then received by an intended receiver, decoded and understood. However, in real life, most specifically at a work environment, disturbances of all sorts –internally & externally- interfere and hinder the communication process.
A lot of times, message is lost, wrongly interpreted, misunderstood or even toxic to the organization. The following are some of the most common barriers to communication that people face, in life & at work.
-Filtering: sometimes a lot of people tend to hide information, exaggerate them or just manipulate them to appear more favorable to the receiver. In this case, communication is ineffective.
-Emotions: both the sender and the receiver’s feelings can affect the way a message is understood. Anger, frustration, sadness and even excitement or happiness can make us react differently in different situations.
-Information overload: there’s just a limit to what one person can process at once. For instance, communication between a manager and an employee becomes ineffective if the manager sends too much information, beyond the employee’s capability to process.
-Defensiveness: when people become defensive, a good communication is rendered impossible. Verbally attacking others, making sarcastic remarks, being judgmental, questioning others’ motives without even listening clearly…
-Language: people at any working environment, come from different backgrounds and possess different patterns of speech. One message can be therefore understood and perceived differently from one person to another. For example, a sender who uses jargons or specialized terminology in engineering while communicating with an Arabic teacher will not be sending effective messages.
To sum it up, filtering, emotions, information overload, defensiveness and language are all among the most common barriers to communication. In the coming post, we will be discussing ways to overcome those barriers at work. At Dow Group, we aim to improve your entire business processes. Why not check www.dowtraining.com for even further services for your business, right here in Dubai –UAE.