Essay on Communication Barriers

Students are often asked to write an essay on Communication Barriers in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

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100 Words Essay on Communication Barriers

What are communication barriers.

Communication barriers are like walls that stop people from sharing ideas clearly. Imagine trying to talk to someone through a thick glass wall. Just like the wall makes it hard to hear, these barriers make understanding each other difficult.

Types of Barriers

There are many types of barriers. Language differences, loud noises, and even our emotions can be barriers. If you speak English and your friend speaks Spanish, language is a barrier. If you’re trying to talk at a noisy party, sound is a barrier.

Overcoming Barriers

To break down these walls, we need to be patient and try different ways to share our thoughts. Maybe we can use pictures or learn a few words in another language. It’s all about finding a way to connect.

250 Words Essay on Communication Barriers

Communication is when people exchange thoughts, messages, or information. Sometimes, this process doesn’t work well because of barriers. Communication barriers are like walls that stop messages from being understood correctly.

Types of Communication Barriers

First, there are language barriers. When people don’t speak the same language or use very different words, they might not understand each other. Next, there are physical barriers. This can be as simple as a bad phone connection or being too far away to hear.

Emotional and Cultural Walls

Feelings can also be a barrier. If someone is angry or sad, they might not listen well or speak clearly. Culture can be a wall too. People from different places might have their own ways of talking or understanding things, which can lead to confusion.

To break down these walls, we can learn other languages or find better ways to connect, like video calls instead of just voice calls. We should also pay attention to our feelings and try to be clear when we talk or write. Understanding other cultures can help a lot, too.

In summary, communication barriers are like obstacles that make it hard to share messages. They can be because of language, distance, emotions, or culture. By knowing about these barriers, we can try to fix them and talk to each other better.

500 Words Essay on Communication Barriers

Communication is like a bridge between people. It lets us share ideas, feelings, and information. But sometimes, this bridge can have problems, called communication barriers. These barriers make it hard to send and understand messages clearly. Imagine trying to talk to someone with a wall between you. That’s what these barriers are like. They can be caused by many things, such as language differences, loud noises, or even our emotions.

There are several types of barriers that can mess up communication. First, there are physical barriers. These are real, like walls, or distance between people. If you’re trying to talk to a friend across a noisy playground, it’s tough to hear each other.

Next, there are language barriers. When people don’t speak the same language or use very difficult words, it’s like they’re speaking a code that the other person can’t crack.

Another type is emotional barriers. If someone is feeling sad, angry, or scared, it can be hard for them to listen or explain their thoughts well.

Cultural barriers are also important. People from different places can have different ways of talking and understanding things. This can lead to confusion if they don’t know about each other’s customs.

Why Do These Barriers Matter?

Communication barriers are a big deal because they can cause misunderstandings. If you’re playing a game and you can’t understand the rules because they’re explained in a confusing way, you won’t be able to play properly. In real life, this can lead to arguments, mistakes, or people feeling bad because they think they’re not being listened to.

Overcoming Communication Barriers

So, what can we do about these barriers? To start, we can try to be clear when we talk or write. Using simple words and short sentences can help a lot. Also, paying attention to the person you’re talking to is important. Look at their face and body to see if they understand you.

If there’s noise, try to find a quieter place to talk. If you’re dealing with language barriers, pictures or hand signs can help. And if emotions are high, taking a break to calm down before talking can make things easier.

Communication barriers can be tricky, but knowing about them is the first step to breaking them down. By being patient, clear, and kind, we can get better at sharing our thoughts and understanding others. Just like fixing a bridge, it takes work to fix communication, but it’s worth it to connect with friends and family. With practice, we can all become super communicators, even when barriers pop up.

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Effective Communication: Barriers and Strategies

Some basic skills can help you to be a more effective communicator in the classroom. This Teaching Tip explores barriers and strategies for active listening, accurate perception, and effective verbal communication.

Barriers to active listening

  • Focusing on a personal agenda.  When we spend our listening time formulating our next response, we cannot be fully attentive to what the speaker is saying.
  • Experiencing information overload.  Too much stimulation or information can make it very difficult to listen with full attention. Try to focus on the relevant information, and the central points that are being conveyed.
  • Criticizing the speaker.  Do not be distracted by critical evaluations of the speaker. Focus on what they are saying - the message - rather than the messenger.
  • Being distracted by strong emotional responses.  When you have strong emotional response, acknowledge the emotion and shift your focus back to listening. Make a conscious effort not to get lost in your emotional response.  
  • Getting distracted by external “noise”.  Audible noise may be extremely distracting. Some things can be minimized – e.g., turn down the ringer on your phone, and notifications on your phone or computer while meeting with someone. Other noises may be unavoidable – e.g., construction, other people. Also, there may be figurative “noise” from the external environment, such as distracting or inappropriate decor in a room, or environmental conditions such as the room being too hot or cold.
  • Experiencing physical illness or pain.  Feeling physically unwell, or experiencing pain can make it very difficult to listen effectively. You may wish to communicate that this is not a good time, and reschedule the discussion. 

Strategies for active listening

The following strategies are intended to promote active listening, or a type of listening with the goal to “develop a clear understanding of the speaker’s concern and also to clearly communicate the listener’s interest in the speaker’s message” (McNaughton, Hamlin, McCarthy, Head-Reeves, & Schreiner, 2008, p. 224).

  • Stop.  Focus on the other person, their thoughts and feelings. Consciously focus on quieting your own internal commentary, and step away from your own concerns to think about those of the speaker. Give your full attention to the speaker.
  • Look.  Pay attention to non-verbal messages, without letting yourself be distracted. Notice body language and non-verbal cues to allow for a richer understanding of the speaker’s point. Remember that “active listeners need to communicate to the speaker that they are involved and giving the person unconditional attention” (Weger, Castle, & Emmett, 2010, p. 35).
  • Listen.  Listen for the essence of the speaker’s thoughts: details, major ideas and their meanings. Seek an overall understanding of what the speaker is trying to communicate, rather than reacting to the individual words or terms that they use to express themselves.
  • Be empathetic.  Imagine how you would feel in their circumstances. Be empathetic to the feelings of the speaker, while maintaining a calm centre within yourself. You need not be drawn into all of their problems or issues, as long as you acknowledge what they are experiencing.
  • Ask questions.  Use questions to clarify your understanding, as well as to demonstrate interest in what is being said.
  • Paraphrase.  If you don’t have any specific questions to ask, you may choose to repeat back to the speaker, in your own words, what you have taken away, in order to allow the speaker to clarify any points (Weger et al., 2010).

Barriers to accurate perception

  • Stereotyping and generalizing.  Be careful not to hold on to preconceptions about people or things. We often have a tendency to see what we want to see, forming an impression from a small amount of information or one experience, and assuming that to be highly representative of the whole person or situation.
  • Not investing time.  Making assumptions and ignoring details or circumstances can lead to misconceptions. When we fail to look in-depth for causes or circumstances, we miss important details, and do not allow for the complexity of the situation.
  • Negativity bias.  Focusing on the negative aspects of a conversation or a situation is a habit common to many people. Even though we may recognize the positive things, we often give more weight to the negative, allowing one negative comment to overshadow numerous positive ones.
  • Assuming similar interpretations.  Not everyone will draw the same conclusions from a given situation or set of information. Everybody interprets things differently. Make sure to check for other people’s interpretations, and be explicit about your own.
  • Experiencing incongruent cues.  As speakers, and as listeners, we are constantly and simultaneously sending cues and receiving them from other people. Try to be consistent with your verbal cues and your body language. Do not say one thing and express something else through your body language. Be aware of how your non-verbal communication relates to your spoken words. If someone else seems to be sending a double message — by saying one thing and expressing something else in their body language — ask for clarification.

Strategies for accurate perception

  • Analyze your own perceptions.  Question your perceptions, and think about how they are formed. Check in with others around you regularly, and be aware of assumptions that you are making. Seek additional information and observations. You may just need to ask people if your perceptions are accurate.
  • Work on improving your perception.  Increase your awareness of barriers to perception, and which ones you tend towards. Check in with yourself regularly. Seek honest, constructive feedback from others regarding their perceptions of you as a means of increasing your self­awareness.
  • Focus on others.  Develop your ability to focus on other people, and understand them better by trying to gather knowledge about them, listening to them actively, and imagining how you would feel in their situation.

Verbal Communication

Barriers to effective verbal communication.

  • Lacking clarity.  Avoid abstract, overly-formal language, colloquialisms, and jargon, which obscure your message more than they serve to impress people.
  • Using stereotypes and generalizations . Speakers who make unqualified generalizations undermine their own clarity and credibility. Be careful not to get stuck in the habit of using stereotypes, or making generalizations about complex systems or situations. Another form of generalization is “polarization” or creating extremes. Try to be sensitive to the complexities of situations, rather than viewing the world in black and white.
  • Jumping to conclusions.  Confusing facts with inferences is a common tendency. Do not assume you know the reasons behind events, or that certain facts necessarily have certain implications. Make sure you have all the information you can get, and then speak clearly about the facts versus the meanings or interpretations you attach to those.
  • Dysfunctional responses.  Ignoring or not responding to a comment or question quickly undermines effective communication. Likewise, responding with an irrelevant comment -- one that isn't connected to the topic at hand -- will quash genuine communication. Interrupting others while they are speaking also creates a poor environment for communication.
  • Lacking confidence.  Lacking confidence can be a major barrier to effective communication. Shyness, difficulty being assertive, or low self-worth can hinder your ability to make your needs and opinions known. Also, a lack of awareness of your own rights and opportunities in a given situation can prevent you from expressing your needs openly. 

Strategies for effective verbal communication

  • Focus on the issue, not the person.  Try not to take everything personally, and similarly, express your own needs and opinions in terms of the job at hand. Solve problems rather than attempt to control others. For example, rather than ignoring a student who routinely answers questions in class with inappropriate tangents, speak with the student outside of class about how this might disrupt the class and distract other students.
  • Be genuine.  Be yourself, honestly and openly. Be honest with yourself, and focus on working well with the people around you, and acting with integrity.
  • Empathize rather than remain detached.  Although professional relationships entail some boundaries when it comes to interaction with colleagues, it is important to demonstrate sensitivity, and to really care about the people you work with. If you don’t care about them, it will be difficult for them to care about you when it comes to working together.
  • Be flexible towards others.  Allow for other points of view, and be open to other ways of doing things. Diversity brings creativity and innovation.
  • Value yourself and your own experiences.  Be firm about your own rights and needs. Undervaluing yourself encourages others to undervalue you, too. Offer your ideas and expect to be treated well.
  • Use affirming responses.  Respond to other in ways that acknowledge their experiences. Thank them for their input. Affirm their right to their feelings, even if you disagree. Ask questions, express positive feeling; and provide positive feedback when you can.

If you would like support applying these tips to your own teaching, CTE staff members are here to help.  View the  CTE Support  page to find the most relevant staff member to contact. 

McNaughton, D., Hamlin, D., McCarthy, J., Head-Reeves, D., & Schreiner, M. (2008). Learning to listen: Teaching an active listening strategy to preservice education professionals.  Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 27 , 223-231.

Weger, H., Jr., Castle, G. R., & Emmett, M. C. (2010). Active listening in peer interviews: The influence of message paraphrasing on perceptions of listening skill.  International Journal of Listening, 24 , 34-49.

CTE teaching tips

  • Question Strategies
  • Facilitating Effective Discussions
  • When Things Go Wrong

Other CTE resources

Consider participating in the  CTE’s Instructional Skills Workshop , an intensive, collaborative learning model that uses videotaped micro-teaching and peer feedback sessions to support participants' teaching reflection and growth.  

Other resources

  • Beebe et al. Interpersonal Communication: Relating to Others 2nd Canadian Edition. (Scarborough, Ontario: Allyn and Bacon, 2000). 
  • Gordon, T. (2003).  Teacher Effectiveness Training . First Revised Edition. New York: Three Rivers Press.
  • Wood, J. T. (2015).  Interpersonal communication: Everyday encounters . Nelson Education.

teaching tips

This Creative Commons license  lets others remix, tweak, and build upon our work non-commercially, as long as they credit us and indicate if changes were made. Use this citation format:  Effective Communication: Barriers and Strategies. Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo

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6 Barriers of Intercultural Communication Essay

Introduction, anxiety in intercultural communication, ethnocentrism as a barrier to intercultural communication, assumption of similarities in intercultural communication, prejudice in intercultural communication, language as a barrier to intercultural communication, cultural relativism, works cited.

Effective communication is a skill that few people possess and even fewer people can get their point across when there is a cross cultural barrier. Cross cultural or intercultural communication is a part of the interaction of different people from different backgrounds and heritages. There have been a number of studies in the field of intercultural communication with a number of experts studying ways different people from different backgrounds interact with each other and how they conduct their day-to-day activities. The subject also researches the barriers that an individual faces regarding communication between individuals from various cultures and heritages. In particular, this paper would look at the number of barriers that one faces with inter cultural communication.

Anxiety is usually defined as a state of human condition where a person has a feeling of unease and nervousness. It is even sometimes associated with the feeling of an unrealistic fear. Anxiety usually occurs when a person usually comes across his or her first cross cultural interaction (Marneros 2023). The feeling of not knowing what to expect from their counterparts and lack of any knowledge about the ways to interact with them usually causes a great deal of anxiety in individuals. Out of their anxiety individuals usually make small mistakes which can result in a great deal of problems for the two parties conducting the business. For example, in the UAE it is customary for greetings to be physical in nature such as hugs and long handshakes that are very common. The best way to tackle such anxiety is to obtain as much knowledge about the culture of the opposite party as possible (Neuliep 2020). It would be an even better option to explore methods which they use to conduct the business. By obtaining information beforehand anxiety can significantly be reduced and a proper interaction can be made.

Ethnocentrism is a perception that an individual has for someone else’s culture and heritage as being inferior to his or her own culture and heritage. The perception basically encompasses a wide range of assumptions regarding the culture as being morally correct and rational in all ways possible. When such individuals interact with a person of another culture or heritage, they refuse to acknowledge the opinion of that person or they evaluate a certain situation from their own point of view. In some rare cases, ethnocentrism is related to racism (Marneros 2023). Overall, ethnocentrism is mostly carried out unintentionally where one is not aware of the fact that what they are doing may cause cultural and communication barriers.

In addition, ethnocentrism cannot for obvious reasons be predicted beforehand and preventive measures cannot be taken against such an event. However, dealing with ethnocentrism is quite simple and different methods can produce positive results in a short time. Respecting the differences of cultures can significantly reduce the feeling of ethnocentrism amongst the people (Haddad 2021). The second step is raising awareness amongst people of different customs of other cultures.

Sometimes people assume that two cultures are not different, but are similar in their nature. For example, if an Arab prefers to drink coffee instead of tea, then others assume that coffee is a popular drink in UAE. This is not always true as people from different cultures have different preferences. The preference of a person or a group of people does not reflect the entire culture (Neuliep 2020). When dealing with different cultures one must not make any predetermined assumptions about their opposite numbers culture.

To play it safe one should assume that there are no cultural differences between the two cultures. The best way is to present oneself in a manner that they would do in their daily lives and carry out activities in an orderly fashion. Such an approach can sometimes work out for an individual; however, in some cases such an assumption could lead to further miscommunication and confusion. For example, in the Arab culture it is considered an insult to refuse any offering made by an Arab. Normally, a person might refuse the offering, as there is no such implication of offending someone by turning down the offering (Haddad 2021). Thus, research into the opposite number’s culture can significantly mitigate such problems.

Prejudice is another notable and important barrier to cross cultural communication. Prejudice refers to irrational judgments passed on certain groups or individuals. It refers to a primary negative perception created by individuals on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, cast or language. Definitely, when people from different cultures and norms join individuals from other cultures, they face challenges of prejudice. Lack of communication and interaction is there as pre-judgments are passed in such cross-cultural setting. Actually, irrational perception created by a majority for a minority is the basis of prejudice, and this comes out as the breakdown of the communication pattern. According to Shahid (2022), prejudice refers to irrational hatred – a gap that is created on the basis of hatred following a certain group, religion, cast or race. In this way, prejudice is inevitable blockage of cross-cultural communication as it is a source to augment victimization of certain groups.

When victimization is there definitely lack of communication is there too. In UAE, employees working on contractual basis face the challenge of prejudice. Employees hired from developing countries like Pakistan, India or Bangladesh are perceived as low working professionals in UAE for which they have a coordination gap with their subordinates (Klyukanov 2020). This is how prejudice brings a communication gap in workplace and in the workplace environment.

Language is an exchange gate of communication. It refers to a source which exchanges values, ideas, and thoughts between two exchange groups. If exchange groups are cross cultural, definitely language can be a major barrier of exchange. Communication gap is there due to differences in language between exchange groups. Multinational corporations have implemented solutions for this. Such firms have standardized English as an international language which has reduced the problem of cross-cultural interaction. Now everyone joining a multinational firm learns English (the most accepted language) and reducing the gap of communication in the international work environment. Furthermore, language barriers can be removed by hiring specialists. Specialists in areas of cross-cultural communication, anthropology can be effective to remove language barriers (Haddad 2021). In addition, special training programs can be organized to improve speech tendency and language frequency of the speaker. This is how language barriers can be minimized and controlled for effective intercultural communication.

Cultural relativism is another most notable barrier of intercultural communication. The denial of others’ values and cultures for the augmentation of self-values and cultures refers to cultural relativism. Cultural relativism is a notion that reflects the superiority of a certain group. The denial of others’ values makes cultural relativism a prominent barrier of cross-cultural communication (Cowell 2022). It is the same like imposing your conceptions on others’ morals and conceptions. The concept of cultural relativism is mostly found in UAE small and medium enterprises, where employees are kept on to the adaptation of the static culture. The firms restrict their employees to engage with the static culture, which indirectly affects their intercultural communication (Cowell 2022). The employees joining firms feel disengaged with the system and for that they keep the space in their peer communication. This is how a weak system of communication comes up and prevails in UAE small medium enterprises.

Communication is the exchange of messages, which takes place across two certain groups. It is a skill that some people have and especially those who live in a cross-cultural setting. Intercultural communication is the interaction of people. People from different values, cultures and backgrounds have to deal with issues of intercultural communication. There are certain barriers that come across intercultural communication. Barriers such as prejudice, anxiety, ethnocentrism, language, and assumption of similarity are most significant ones to consider. On a conclusive node, these barriers are significant and have to be removed to make cross-cultural communication effective. For this purpose, a solution for cross-cultural communicators is that individuals must attain a basic understanding of each other’s cultures and thoughts. This will reduce the impact of the interfering barriers that come across while engaging in a cross-cultural interaction.

Cowell, Frederick. 2022. Defensive Relativism: The Use of Cultural Relativism in International Legal Practice . United States: University of Pennsylvania Press, Incorporated.

Haddad, Eva. 2021. “ The Importance of The Study of Intercultural Communication as A Social Science ”. Dirasat: Human and Social Sciences 48 (1).

Klyukanov, Igor. 2020. Principles of Intercultural Communication . United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis.

Marneros, Christos. 2023. “ Defensive Relativism: The Use of Cultural Relativism in International Legal Practice ”. Contemp Polit Theory 328.

Neuliep, James. 2020. Intercultural Communication: A Contextual Approach . United States: SAGE Publications.

Shahid, Duaa. 2022. “ Importance of Intercultural Communication in an Organization ”. Journal of Business and Management Studies 4 (2), 459–463.

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Home — Essay Samples — Sociology — Effective Communication — Common Barriers to Effective Communication


Common Barriers to Effective Communication

  • Categories: Effective Communication

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Words: 439 |

Published: Feb 12, 2019

Words: 439 | Page: 1 | 3 min read

Table of contents

Language barriers, physiological barriers, attitudinal barriers, language barriers.

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communication barriers essay

Barriers to Communication


Communication barriers in an organization are anything that hinders communication or a two-way process of communication. Communication barriers vary from physical and organizational factors to barriers such as language and cultural differences. Effective communication is critical in helping organizations, individuals, and team members achieve their goals and objectives. Organizational tasks and operations involve collaboration between individuals or teams, making effective communication critical (Rani, 2016). This paper discusses the importance of communication in the workplace while elaborating how communication barriers can impact organizations or individuals in meeting their goals and objectives. Furthermore, the paper discusses various strategies for overcoming these communication barriers.

Importance of the role of communication in the workplace

Good communication is a mandatory requirement for the proper functioning of any organization. Communication in the workplace is not just about relaying information but connecting with people, building teamwork, establishing trust and transparency, minimizing errors, and improving productivity in the workplace (Jenifer & Raman, 2015). Therefore, communication plays a crucial role in fulfilling an organization’s goal. Effective communication functions in the workplace vary from organization to organization depending on the organization’s operations, goals, and objectives. However, effective communication leads to improved performance, reduced errors, ease of transfer of knowledge and innovative ideas, and enhanced staff engagement and employee retention (Rani, 2016), as discussed in the section below.

Effective communication improves productivity and effectiveness in the organization. Many organizations’ functions depend on collaboration between individuals or teams, such as departments, to accomplish their objectives. Therefore, good communication enables an organization to achieve its objectives faster and effectively, making it more productive. Effective communication also increases productivity by reducing errors and the cost of operation, leading to increased productivity (Rani, 2016). Secondly, communication increases staff engagement and reduces employee turnover. Employees are motivated when their managers keep them informed about various developments in the organization, giving them a sense of belonging and making them stay longer within the organization.

Good communication also helps an organization implement its change management initiative successfully. Implementing a change initiative requires a lot of communication, and many organizations fail because of a lack of effective communication. The current dynamic business environment makes change management initiatives and effective communication mandatory (Kapur, 2018). For the change process to be effective, it is essential for the employer to communicate why the change is happening, what it entails, its benefits, and its impact. Effective communication also drives innovation and knowledge sharing within an organization. Employees can share innovative ideas and expertise with their colleagues, making the organization more innovative and productive. The teamwork that results from effective communication in an organization plays a crucial role in establishing unity of purpose, which makes employees cooperate and work more purposely in helping the organization to achieve its goal (Jenifer & Raman, 2015). In line with this, effective communication helps achieve organizational alignment, as elaborated below.

Effective communication plays a significant role in helping organizations’ leadership to align employees’ goals to the organizational purpose. Studies show that only a few organizations successfully align staff goals with the organization’s purpose (Jenifer & Raman, 2015). Effective communication is a crucial tool through which a company’s executive familiarizes employees with the organization’s visions, missions, values, and purpose. Furthermore, effective communication helps collaboration between departments. The different departments need to work in collaboration with each other to achieve the goals of the organization (Goutam, 2013). Working as a team is only possible if transparent, open, and honest workplace communication exists. Furthermore, an environment of trust and teamwork where members of one department know that they can count on other department members to fulfill their duties leads to cohesiveness and effectiveness in the workplace.

How barriers to communication can impact an organization meeting its goals and objective

Communication barriers significantly impact the organizational objectives because, most of the time, the management may not know such barriers exist. If a manager’s communication style pisses off his employees, they may not tell him. Likewise, if there is a communication barrier between employees and the management and the junior staff cannot get the managers to listen, the organization’s leadership will not know there is a problem. Because of this, the organization cannot fix the problems that ail it. Establishing a good rapport within the organization is the best strategy to deal with this problem (Rani, 2016). However, such a strategy may not work in hierarchical organizations because communication is based on positions and ranks, not friendship. Nevertheless, being friendly and maintaining positive rapport may help people open up even in organizations with a hierarchical communication structure.

Communication barriers may also lead to increased inefficiencies and errors (Rani, 2016). Individuals and team members can fail to understand what is being communicated due to excess information or jargon. Furthermore, the use of different communication styles from that of the intended audience may cause difficulty in understanding. Failure to understand the information communicated may lead to people acting incorrectly, leading to errors, inefficiencies, and losses (Kapur, 2018). Some strategies that can help overcome this barrier include using simple words and phrases and breaking down the information into smaller chunks that will be easy to understand.

Communication barriers can also lead to stereotyping and alienating people, leading to an incohesive workplace environment. When there is no effort to bridge communication barriers in a work environment characterized by cultural and language barriers, a group of people can feel alienated. Consequently, this barrier in communication leads to a lack of trust and transparency among individuals in a team resulting in poor performance (Kapur, 2018). The lack of trust could also lead to other problems, such as conflicts and conflicting views among employees in an organization. Using inclusive language and appreciation of different cultures can be an effective strategy for overcoming this communication strategy. Lack of trust and transparency among employees can lead to a toxic work environment which negatively affects productivity.

How barriers to communication can impact an individual and a team in meeting its goals and objective

In the same way that communication barriers negatively impact organizations, they can also affect individuals and teams meeting their goals and objectives. Organizations are made up of individuals and team members, so communication breakdown impacts individuals and team members before moving to organizations. Some ways barriers to communication can negatively impact individuals and teams are alienation, conflicts, lack of engagement, increased employee turnover, and lack of career progress (Rani, 2016), as further discussed below.

Language and cultural barriers can lead to the alienation of individuals or team members. Language and cultural differences make people associate only with people they are comfortable with, making minority groups feel alienated and unwanted (Jelani & Nordin, 2019). Furthermore, language and cultural differences cause discrimination and stereotyping, which causes people to treat people from minority groups unfairly. The discriminatory treatment may lead to low self-esteem and unworthiness, which can also impact the performance of these individuals and teams (Jenifer & Raman, 2015). Communication barriers can also lead to conflicts among individuals and team members. Conflicts can arise from different perspectives, such as religious and political views. Conflict can also occur due to fighting for limited resources or simply hating each other. While conflicts can be a barrier to effective communication, they can also lead to other negative consequences, such as fighting, litigation, and even loss of employment.

Communication barriers can also lead to a lack of staff engagement which can lead to reduced productivity and increased employee turnover. When the employer holds back important information from employees, they may feel unwanted and their contributions unimportant. Consequently, employees will start distancing themselves from making important decisions and holding back on important information. The lack of morale in individuals and group members may cause them to start looking for employment elsewhere, causing increased employee turnover. Similarly, communication barriers can cause individual and team members to stagnate in their career growth. When employees hold back and withdraw important information due to feeling unwanted, they distance themselves from important responsibilities that can make them grow professionally.

Strategies for overcoming barriers to communication

Organizations can employ various strategies to overcome communication barriers, helping them to achieve their goals and objective. The first strategy is to appreciate language and cultural differences in the workplace by using inclusive language. Understanding and appreciating different cultures helps employees from different cultures to have a sense of belonging and connect easily with other staff (Goutam, 2013). Moreover, focusing on the message and not the person when receiving and interpreting information will help to reduce biases and discrimination arising from language and cultural differences.

Breaking down the information communicated into smaller chunks and delivering it over a prolonged period is the best strategy to overcome information overload (Jenifer & Raman, 2015). Additionally, simple words and phrases will help an individual understand faster than long and complex phrases full of jargon. Deferring communication until the audience is in the right state of mind is another strategy that helps to break communication barriers caused by tiredness and negative attitude. In case of language barriers, the communicators can seek the service of an interpreter. Additionally, gestures and other non-verbal communication, such as body language, can help in case of language barriers but can also help reinforce the message being communicated.

Communication barriers are anything that acts as a barrier to communication or a two-way communication process. Communication barriers can adversely impact the ability of organizations, individuals, and team members to meet their goals and objectives. Communication barriers may reduce organizational productivity, increase errors and inefficiencies, and result in an incohesive work environment. Furthermore, communication barriers can cause a lack of trust and transparency in the workplace, which creates alienation among groups of individuals. Some strategies to overcome communication barriers include breaking down the information into smaller chunks and using simple words and phrases free of jargon.

Goutam, A. (2013). Effective communication at the workplace.  Irc’s international journal of multidisciplinary research in social & management sciences .

Jenifer, R. D., & Raman, G. P. (2015). Cross-cultural communication barriers in the workplace.  International Journal of Management ,  6 (1), 348-351.

Kapur, R. (2018). Barriers to effective communication.  Delhi University .

Jelani, F., & Nordin, N. S. (2019). Barriers to effective communication at the workplace.  Journal of Modern Languages and Applied Linguistics ,  3 (2), 7-18.

Rani, K. U. (2016). Communication barriers.  Journal of English language and literature ,  3 (2), 74-76.

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BUS209: Organizational Behavior

communication barriers essay


This chapter reading is a great resource to highlight and reinforce the concepts we learned in the previous video. The chapter begins with the Radio Shack case, which exemplifies the wrong way to communicate bad news. Consider the message, as well as the medium that you would choose in this situation. Also, take a look at the "communication freezers", words that essentially shut down effective communication within your workplace. Do you use these words? What might you say instead to create bridges instead of barriers?

In this chapter we have reviewed why effective communication matters to organizations. Communication may break down as a result of many communication barriers that may be attributed to the sender or receiver. Therefore, effective communication requires familiarity with the barriers. Choosing the right channel for communication is also important, because choosing the wrong medium undermines the message. When communication occurs in the cross-cultural context, extra caution is needed, given that different cultures have different norms regarding nonverbal communication, and different words will be interpreted differently across cultures. By being sensitive to the errors outlined in this chapter and adopting active listening skills, you may increase your communication effectiveness.

Communication Barriers at the Workplace

Lack of confidence, generalization and stereotypes, cross-cultural factors, language factors, problem of power.

Having good communication skills is rather crucial for all workers since it may significantly affect their performance and success. It is even more essential for those employees and managers who are transferred to the company’s new factory in another country. Working with people of different races and cultures may be challenging itself, but communication barriers and some other factors may worsen the situation, and it may become rather difficult for all employees to coordinate with each other fully. The purpose of this paper is to define and discuss communication barriers and language and cross-cultural factors at the workplace and the power problem that may have to be overcome by the transferred staff and workers from the host country.

Before analyzing the problem, it is necessary to state that the chosen perspective for understanding organizational communication is the interpretivist approach. It tries to see human interaction as the process that lies in the work of an organization instead of managing it (Bratton, 2015). Most of the communication barriers in the workplace appear because of various misunderstandings and misinterpretations. Moreover, they may occur due to employees’ different personalities, values, and beliefs, and because of a rather stressful work environment (Jelani & Nordin, 2019). Communication barriers at the workplace include the lack of confidence and stereotypes and generalization.

To begin with, lack of confidence is a rather significant problem that may be faced by both foreign managers and local workers and occur in various forms, including discomfort, awkwardness, and shyness. Since all employees are of different cultures and nationalities, they may feel unconfident and worried about whether they will understand each other (Jelani & Nordin, 2019). This problem has an effect on the overall company’s collaboration and suppresses workers to give opinions and ask for their rights.

Generalization and stereotypes are often a significant part of people’s thinking and imagining other nationalities. As managers are transferred to the factory with workers from another country, both parties have some prejudices about each other that are rather harmful because they may affect accurate perception (Jelani & Nordin, 2019). Usually, stereotypes are not truthful and may be quite offensive, and it does not promote mutual understanding and good communication.

Due to the growth of global business and the idea of uniting workers of different nations, cross-cultural communication has become strategically vital to organizations. Although the barriers listed above play a significant role in a company’s performance, it is possible to suggest that precisely cross-cultural factors are the most crucial. According to Bratton (2015), “people communicate differently because of their culture, their gender, and how they have learned to perceive the world” (p. 306). Thereby, the diversity of cultures may indeed have a negative impact on employees’ trust, performance, and productivity (Guirdham, 2017). A person’s culture tells him or her how to behave, what to believe in, forms his or her ideas, values, and stereotypes. That is why it has to be put aside when working in a company with people of various nationalities and origins.

There is a division between high-context and low-context cultures, and it may be challenging for managers to adapt to the traditions of the host country. For instance, “in low-context societies, people are less able to agree or solve disputes without resorting to written contracts,” while in high-context ones, collaboration, trust, and personal relationships are emphasized (Bratton, 2015, p. 308). Also, workers from low-context cultures are in a rush and try to do everything quickly, and high-context societies have flexible time.

Language factors may have a great influence on the ability of workers from different countries to understand each other and work in one team without arguments and disputes. According to Sanden (2016), “language has been described as the essence of international business” (p. 275). This is true since words and gestures express people’s opinions, ideas, and the image of the company’s goals and future. For international business, it is important to share, which is possible through language. When working with people of different cultures and nationalities, it is essential to ensure that they understand everything right and perceive the information as was meant to. Moreover, foreign managers must make sure that their body language and gestures usual for the homeland are not offensive in the country that they came to.

For any organization to work, there have to be ordinary workers and managers; in other words, those who make orders and are responsible for guiding employees and increasing their performance. Hence, they need to have and maintain power, which puts them above all other staff. However, for power to be preserved, those who obey need to accept someone’s control and continue performing his or her orders. In another country and with employees of different cultures and nationalities, it is quite challenging for managers to maintain and use their power (Aggerholm et al., 2011). According to Bretton (2015), “leadership depends on the use of verbal and non-verbal language, both words and behavior” (p. 304). Thereby, since verbal and even body languages vary between countries, workers may decide not to accept foreign managers’ power. This is a rather significant problem that can affect the factory’s performance and success and cause disputes between employees.

To draw a conclusion, one may say that communication barriers are a major problem for organizations, and their leaders have to do their best to eliminate it. Nevertheless, in situations when cultural diversity of workers is involved, it is rather challenging for managers to keep and use their power and for employees to develop mutual understanding. The company’s staff needs to put aside its diversities and work together to increase the organization’s performance and effectiveness.

Aggerholm, H. K., Andersen, S. E., & Thomsen, C. (2011). Conceptualizing employer branding in sustainable organizations. Corporate Communications: An International Journal , 16 (2), 105-123.

Bratton, J. (2015). Introduction to work and organizational behavior . Macmillan International Higher Education.

Guirdham, O. (2017). Communicating across cultures at work . Macmillan Education.

Jelani, F., & Nordin, N. S. (2019). Communication issues at the workplace. International Journal of Modern Languages and Applied Linguistics, 2 (1), 32-46.

Sanden, G. R. (2016). Language: The sharpest tool in the business strategy toolbox. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 21 (3), 274-288.

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  • Barriers in Communication

Barriers of Communication: This far we have seen what we mean by the process of communication . But, at times even after taking care of every other detail some misunderstandings arise. So, to eliminate these misunderstandings, we have to understand the most common barriers to effective communication . Let us see what these Barriers of Communication are!

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communication barriers essay

Barriers To Effective Communication

The process of communication has multiple barriers. The intended communique will often be disturbed and distorted leading to a condition of misunderstanding and failure of communication. The Barriers to effective communication could be of many types like linguistic, psychological, emotional, physical, and cultural etc. We will see all of these types in detail below.

  • Linguistic Barriers

The language barrier is one of the main barriers that limit effective communication. Language is the most commonly employed tool of communication. The fact that each major region has its own language is one of the Barriers to effective communication. Sometimes even a thick dialect may render the communication ineffective.

As per some estimates, the dialects of every two regions changes within a few kilometers. Even in the same workplace, different employees will have different linguistic skills. As a result, the communication channels that span across the organization would be affected by this.

Thus keeping this barrier in mind, different considerations have to be made for different employees. Some of them are very proficient in a certain language and others will be ok with these languages.

Browse more Topics under Communication

  • Types of Communication
  • Network in Communication
  • Characteristics of Effective Communication
  • Interpersonal Skills, Listening Skills and Emotional Intelligence

Learn more abou t the Characteristics of Effective Communication here in detail .

  • Psychological Barriers

There are various mental and psychological issues that may be barriers to effective communication. Some people have stage fear, speech disorders, phobia, depression etc. All of these conditions are very difficult to manage sometimes and will most certainly limit the ease of communication.

  • Emotional Barriers

The emotional IQ of a person determines the ease and comfort with which they can communicate. A person who is emotionally mature will be able to communicate effectively. On the other hand, people who let their emotions take over will face certain difficulties.

A perfect mixture of emotions and facts is necessary for effective communication. Emotions like anger, frustration, humour, can blur the decision-making capacities of a person and thus limit the effectiveness of their communication.

Barriers of communication

Physical Barriers to Communication

They are the most obvious barriers to effective communication. These barriers are mostly easily removable in principle at least. They include barriers like noise, closed doors, faulty equipment used for communication, closed cabins, etc. Sometimes, in a large office, the physical separation between various employees combined with faulty equipment may result in severe barriers to effective communication.

Learn more about Interpersonal Skills and Emotional Intelligence here in detail.

Cultural Barriers of Communication

As the world is getting more and more globalized, any large office may have people from several parts of the world. Different cultures have a different meaning for several basic values of society. Dressing, Religions or lack of them, food, drinks, pets, and the general behaviour will change drastically from one culture to another.

Hence it is a must that we must take these different cultures into account while communication. This is what we call being culturally appropriate. In many multinational companies, special courses are offered at the orientation stages that let people know about other cultures and how to be courteous and tolerant of others.

  • Organisational Structure Barriers

As we saw there are many methods of communication at an organizational level. Each of these methods has its own problems and constraints that may become barriers to effective communication. Most of these barriers arise because of misinformation or lack of appropriate transparency available to the employees.

  • Attitude Barriers

Certain people like to be left alone. They are the introverts or just people who are not very social. Others like to be social or sometimes extra clingy! Both these cases could become a barrier to communication. Some people have attitude issues, like huge ego and inconsiderate behaviours.

communication barriers essay

These employees can cause severe strains in the communication channels that they are present in. Certain personality traits like shyness, anger, social anxiety may be removable through courses and proper training. However, problems like egocentric behaviour and selfishness may not be correctable.

  • Perception Barriers

Different people perceive the same things differently. This is a fact which we must consider during the communication process . Knowledge of the perception levels of the audience is crucial to effective communication. All the messages or communique must be easy and clear. There shouldn’t be any room for a diversified interpretational set.

  • Physiological Barriers

Certain disorders or diseases or other limitations could also prevent effective communication between the various channels of an organization. The shrillness of voice, dyslexia , etc are some examples of physiological barriers to effective communication. However, these are not crucial because they can easily be compensated and removed.

Technological  Barriers & Socio-religious Barriers

Other barriers include the technological barriers. The technology is developing fast and as a result, it becomes difficult to keep up with the newest developments. Hence sometimes the technological advance may become a barrier. In addition to this, the cost of technology is sometimes very high.

Most of the organizations will not be able to afford a decent tech for the purpose of communication. Hence, this becomes a very crucial barrier. Other barriers are socio-religious barriers. In a patriarchal society, a woman or a transgender may face many difficulties and barriers while communicating.

Solved Examples on Barriers of Communication

Q1: What do you mean by a barrier to communication? List all the important Barriers to effective communication?

Answer: Any parameter that limits the purpose or channel of communication between the transmitter and the receiver is a barrier to communication. A communication barrier may limit or reduce the ease at which we communicate and hence the name barrier. Although the barriers to effective communication may be different for different situations, the following are some of the main barriers:

  • Physical Barriers
  • Cultural Barriers
  • Technological barriers
  • Socio-religious barriers

This concludes our discussion on the topic – barriers of communication.

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Communication Barriers

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Essay on Communication Barriers

Essay on Communication Barriers

Peoples communicate mundane whether they realized it or non. It is done voluntarily or non-voluntarily as one still communicates in one manner or another. Communication is the sending or transmission of information to another individual via two ways, verbal and non-verbal or as defined by Papa M.

J. 2008, a procedure of making shared significance through the usage of marks and symbols. When a talker speaks, a message is transmitted to the hearer via a channel. The message so reaches the hearer and gives back a response called feedback.

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For illustration, a adult male tells a kid that he is grounded, the adult male, talker, is conveying message, that he is grounded to the kid, hearer and the kid shows a frowning face as a feedback, an disquieted behavior. However in world, messages transmitted do n’t go through through swimmingly to the hearer. The intervention distorts and prevents messages from conveying through decently and may do misunderstanding of message. Intervention in communications known as communicating barriers is defined as any factor that interferes with the success of the communicating procedure ( Krizan et al 2005 ) .

Communication barriers exist due to much intervention in communicating such as civilization, faith, personalities, and perceptual experiences. In this essay, briefing on general causes of communicating barriers will be done and the sentiments to the statement of “Awareness and understanding barrier to communicating enables communicators to guarantee minimum intervention with the message” One of the most common communicating barriers would be the difference in civilization.Culture is defined as a set of erudite forms of idea and behavior shared and base on ballss down by a group of people and is of all time altering and dynamic. Suderman J 2007 ) Culture differs in every races, provinces and states.

Many states such as the eastern states and some western states have rich cultural values and are still normally practiced.Eastern civilization patterns such as in the Chinese civilization are the superstitious notion of the coloring material ruddy. The Chinese are really auspicious towards the coloring material red as it has about the similar pronunciation as ‘ong ‘ which meant prosperity. Western civilizations patterns such as the Australian people are more contact oriented and are people who would embrace and snog when recognizing another.

However, there are eastern and western civilizations that have different significance for the same belief. The Chinese people love the figure 13 which has about the same pronunciation as ‘Yatt Saang ‘ significance one time birth which shows the birth of a new life nevertheless the Americans have triskaidekaphobia, which is the fright of the figure 13 ( Medicine. net ) as the figure 13 is considered luckless since “on the twenty-four hours of Friday the 13th after the concluding Campaign, the Catholic Pope had sent out work forces to gaining control and burn alive the last 13 Templar knights in order to set an terminal to the Crusades” .Although consciousness of communicating barriers is at that place, it is n’t acknowledged by people to the extent that they understand that different people with different civilization, personality, perceptive and outlook make up the universe and because they do non accept each other ‘s civilization with an unfastened head, therefore Forth, much of misinterpretations happen frequently.

Some people refuse to accept or even seek to understand other people ‘s civilization. This may be due to the believe that their civilization is the more superior and the right 1.This political orientation is known as ethnocentrism which is defined by West R. et Al 2006 as the procedure of judging another civilization utilizing the criterion of your ain civilization.

Ethnocentrism was practiced widely amongst the Nipponese people during the World War II. Nipponese ethnocentrism is besides known as Japan moderatism which is the ethnocentric belief that Japan is, or should be, at the Centre of the universe. ( New World Encyclopedia n. d.

) This could besides be due to single barrier as a consequence of an person ‘s perceptual and personal uncomfortableness.Even when two individuals have experienced the same event their mental perceptual experience may/may non be indistinguishable which acts as a barrier. ( Ezine Articles n. d.

) One individual position does n’t needfully suit the other individual ‘s position. Another ground is the perceptual experience deformation done by the pigeonholing position of the community towards day-to-day facets which leads to another mislead premises. One of the ill-famed pigeonholing done is the stereotyping of Muslims.Due to some recent terrorist act done by some Muslims around the universe, the universe stereotypes that all Muslim people are violent and extremist.

It is a really unjust perceptual experience that has been forced on to these people as Islam is the faith of peace and love. “The amusement industries, particularly the film-makers in Hollywood, with really few exclusions, have shown deep prejudice showing Arabs or Muslims of the Third World states as uncouth, barbarian knaves. Therefore, ridicule is added to an already fuzz and blue perceptual experience of Islam in the west. ” ( Ahmad M.

n. d. )Even so, it does non intend that consciousness of communicating barriers does n’t assist people to understand each other at all. When there is an apprehension that a individual has a different sense of cultural apprehension and that we are different, similarities can be looked out for as all in all, we are still worlds and similarities are bound to be at that place.

An illustration of such similarities can be the cosmopolitan apprehension of gestural communicating such as yes or no, glowering or smiling and so forth.Gestural communicating is the messages expressed by non-linguistic agencies. ( Adler R. B.

t Al 2004 ) Communications through non-verbal ways are used more frequently than realized. An illustration cited by Andersen & A ; Andersen et Al. 1982 in Knapp et Al 2002 called the Classroom Behaviour where instructors are to see pupil ‘s gestural actions such as ;“1. The frenetic hand-waver who is certain he or she has the right reply2.

The pupil who is certain he or she does n’t cognize the reply and attempts to avoid oculus contact… ”As a decision, consciousness of communicating barriers does non needfully minimise the intervention of message because bulk of the universe community are still in the position point of a stereotype.

To minimise the illation, one must be unfastened minded and listen! It is the importance of listening and holding an unfastened head that helps to accept and construe a message good. “It requires a strong individual to be a good hearer, able to be patient and confident plenty to suspend opinion and yet non give one ‘s capacity to analyze and answer, ” ( Molvin ; A ; Molvin 2007 ) . Having an unfastened head is to accept the facts as they are and non inquiry or knock the facts.

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    By identifying the barriers and applying countermeasures, team members can effectively communicate." (Wallace and Roberson, 2009) Chapter four speaks of four obstacles that can prevent effective communication. Emotional barriers, physical barriers, semantic barriers, and ineffective listening all prevent effective communication on both.

  8. PDF A report from The Economist Intelligence Unit Communication barriers in

    Respondents say communication barriers are leading to a delay or failure to complete projects (44%), low morale (31%), missed performance goals (25%) and even lost sales (18%)—some worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. lThe most frequently cited cause of communication barriers is fundamentally human: different communication styles.

  9. Effective Communication: Barriers and Strategies

    Interrupting others while they are speaking also creates a poor environment for communication. Lacking confidence. Lacking confidence can be a major barrier to effective communication. Shyness, difficulty being assertive, or low self-worth can hinder your ability to make your needs and opinions known.

  10. Miscommunication: Word and Verbal Barriers Essay

    Miscommunication: Word and Verbal Barriers Essay. Verbal barriers are a special case in the science of rhetoric, representing problems that distance people from mutual understanding within the framework of the communicative process. Only by being aware of the problems of verbal barriers can one be truly in control of one's own speech (Floyd ...

  11. Communication barriers

    Interference in communications known as communication barriers is defined as any factor that interferes with the success of the communication process (Krizan et al 2005). Communication barriers exist due to much interference in communication such as culture, religion, personalities, and perceptions. In this essay, briefing on general causes of ...

  12. Essay on Communication Barriers

    In this essay, I will describe the guidelines, tools, practices, or procedures I would use to overcome the four communication barriers: process, personal, physical, and semantic. Process barriers arise due to how communication is organized or structured. One typical example of a process barrier is a lack of clear communication channels or ...

  13. 6 Barriers to Intercultural Communication

    Intercultural communication is the interaction of people. People from different values, cultures and backgrounds have to deal with issues of intercultural communication. There are certain barriers that come across intercultural communication. Barriers such as prejudice, anxiety, ethnocentrism, language, and assumption of similarity are most ...

  14. (PDF) Barriers to Effective Communication

    part of the manuscript, steps have been identified to overcome the communication. barriers, these are, eliminating differences in perception, use of simple language, reduction and elimination of ...

  15. Common Barriers to Effective Communication

    Attitudinal Barriers. Attitudinal barriers are behaviors or perceptions that prevent people from communicating effectively. Attitudinal barriers to communication may result from personality conflicts, poor management, resistance to changes, or a lack of motivation. Effective receivers of messages should attempt to overcome their own attitudinal ...

  16. Barriers to Communication

    Introduction Communication barriers in an organization are anything that hinders communication or a two-way process of communication. Communication barriers vary from physical and organizational factors to barriers such as language and cultural differences. Effective communication is critical in helping organizations, individuals, and team members achieve their goals and objectives.

  17. Communication Barriers Free Essay Example

    For example, Comprehensive Modeling of Communication Barriers: A Conceptual Framework 17 Spanish speakers come from a variety of countries with distinct cultures" (Del Pinal and Singer, 1997). Cultural differences cause cultural noises. Taken-for-granted assumptions most of the time cause misunderstanding.

  18. Communication: Conclusion

    Conclusion. In this chapter we have reviewed why effective communication matters to organizations. Communication may break down as a result of many communication barriers that may be attributed to the sender or receiver. Therefore, effective communication requires familiarity with the barriers. Choosing the right channel for communication is ...

  19. Communication Barriers at the Workplace

    Most of the communication barriers in the workplace appear because of various misunderstandings and misinterpretations. Moreover, they may occur due to employees' different personalities, values, and beliefs, and because of a rather stressful work environment (Jelani & Nordin, 2019). Communication barriers at the workplace include the lack of ...

  20. Essay About Communication Barriers

    Essay About Communication Barriers. 992 Words 4 Pages. The First Step of Effective Communication: Understanding The Barriers Les Brown, one of the top five motivational speakers in the world, once said that effective communication is the number one tool to succeed in any endeavor. He said that communication determines whether people vote for ...

  21. Barriers of Communication: Types of Barriers to Effective ...

    Linguistic Barriers. The language barrier is one of the main barriers that limit effective communication. Language is the most commonly employed tool of communication. The fact that each major region has its own language is one of the Barriers to effective communication. Sometimes even a thick dialect may render the communication ineffective.

  22. ⇉Essay on Communication Barriers Essay Example

    Essay on Communication Barriers. Peoples communicate mundane whether they realized it or non. It is done voluntarily or non-voluntarily as one still communicates in one manner or another. Communication is the sending or transmission of information to another individual via two ways, verbal and non-verbal or as defined by Papa M.