There are different types of barriers that can pose challenges to effective communication. In the SocialMettle article to follow, you will understand about physical barriers in communication.
Communication is one of the most effective ways of expressing our thoughts and emotions. It can be verbal or non-verbal. Both these forms of communication are important in ensuring that we are able to put across our message clearly. However, there are times when there might be some hindrances to communication, which can mar its effectiveness, resulting in miscommunication or lack of clarity. Researchers have studied the various forms of barriers to effective communication. A physical barrier is one of the important ones, some of which are enlisted below.
~ Some barriers are due to the existing environment. If you are standing in adverse weather conditions, your conversation would be hampered, because you would not be able to pay full attention to what the other person is saying.
~ The ambience in which you are having a conversation also plays an important part. If the place is too noisy, or two crowded, you may not be able to clearly listen to the speaker.
~ For example, if you are having a conversation with someone along the roadside, the noise of the passing vehicles can make it difficult for you to concentrate on what you are saying, apart from interfering in effective listening. Similarly, if you are talking to someone in scorching heat, then the physical discomfort can easily cause you to be disinterested in the conversation.
~ Distance also plays an important part in determining the course of a conversation. For example, if the staff in an organization are made to sit in different buildings or different floors, they might have to substitute face to face communication with phone calls or emails.
~ This prevents the employees to have effective communication with each other. For example, if a manager and his subordinate are seated at different buildings of an organization, then the manager may have to give out instructions over the phone or over the email, which can sometimes lead to a lack of effective communication.
Ignorance of Medium
~ Communication also includes using signs and symbols to convey a feeling or a thought. However, if there is a lack of ignorance about the medium in which sender is sending the message, the conversation can be hampered.
~ For example, the use of signs to communicate can be seen in games like soccer and hockey, where players do not want the opposing team to know about their plans and may converse through codes and signs. However, if a member of a team is not acquainted with these signs, it can lead to a lack of communication.
~ Physical disability can also prove to be a barrier for effective communication.
~ People with physical disabilities generally are at a disadvantage when it comes to gaining employment.
~ They have been marginalized through ages, and this can cause them to have a low self-esteem and social anxiety.
~ It can cause a physically challenged person to have face difficulties in self-disclosure and can hamper his interpersonal skills.
Other Barriers in Communication
Perceptual barrier has got to do with the prejudice that most of us tend to form before meeting an individual. If we form a prejudice about someone, then we may not be able to have an effective communication with the person.
Emotions can play an important part in any conversation. Have you ever noticed that your voice acquires an aggressiveness when you are speaking on an issue you feel strongly about? Emotional barriers can cause interruptions in conversation, apart from making the speakers to form unfair assumptions about each other.
Cultural barrier is one of the widely seen barrier in communication. Ignorance about each other’s cultures may make us skeptic, and we may shy away from expressing ourselves freely.
Linguistic barriers also affect a conversation and this is not limited to difference in people’s first language. English, which is one of the widely spoken languages of the world is spoken differently in England, America, Australia, South Africa, etc. This can cause lack of understanding and confusion.
These were some types of physical barriers that can prove detrimental to effective communication. It is important that these barriers are recognized and corrective steps are taken to prevent or reduce their impact on communication.