It would be an exaggeration to mention that all the barriers to communication have been overcome once the organizational barriers are done away with. On most occasions miscommunications are caused by problems of human and language imperfections. These problems or individual barriers are as follows:
Wrong Channel: The major communication barrier at the individual level is the selection of the medium (channel) for sending a message. Moreover, it is the selection of a wrong medium which poses a major problem. Like, if a message is emotional it is better to convey to orally rather than written
Semantics: The word ‘semantics’ refers to the meaning of words and the way they are used. From instance, an ad campaign may mean cost rise to the cost accountant, whereas it may imply more sales revenue to the marketing managers and more profits to the finance manager. Many frequently used words have diverse meanings. Therefore, proper care should be exercised so as to get the right message across.
Inconsistency: Using inconsistent body movements or actions in between verbal and non verbal communication will confuse the receiver. It is absolutely essential that the tone of voice and body language is consistent with the words, and actions should not contradict words.
Included in these barriers are the problems associated with the emotions and perceptions held by group participation. Communication is bound to be affected, if personal feelings and emotions are kept at a higher place than the people with whom we are communicating. Four specific inter-personal barriers to communication are discussed below:
Interpersonal Factors: These barriers are associated with the emotions and perceptions held by the group of people participating in communication.
Selective Perception: Perception is a complicated process through which we select, organize and give meaning to various occurrences. Certain reactions are cultivated from ex-reactions are cultivated from experience like being defensive when called into the boss’s office. Thus, our expectations lead us to see events, people, objects and situations the way we want them to be. This is known as selective perception. A limiting factor seems to be that perceives an object or person, one’s evaluation is frequently colored by the larger attributes of which that object or person is just a part. For instance, the way one perceives the boss’s message is influenced not only by his relationship with the boss, but also by his attitude towards management in general.
Status of the Communication: In general, people in the organization accept a given message, even blindly in some situation, when they have confidence in the sender. It is this tendency to weigh a message in terms of sender’s credibility, which acts as a barrier. Subordinates tend to evaluate the message thinking it to be true or trust worthy only because, it has sent by a superior who they think is an expert in a particular area.
Poor Listening: Poor Listening is another inter-personal communication barrier. Many supervisors avoid listening because of the fear that they will get involved in the personal problems of the subordinate. Listening, being a time consuming process, many a times fails to attract the attention of the managers who are already pressed for time.
Imprecise use of Language: Barriers in communication are created if there is a gap between what is intended to be communicated and what is actually communicated. Improper use of certain terms and phrases may also cause problems.