Effective communication is the backbone of any successful
enterprise. Communication problems at
any cost must be understood and put an end to, as quickly and early as
possible. Negative consequences of communication problems are far reaching and
also at times long lasting if not immediately attended to. Let us not go into
the problems of wrong or miscommunications between two individuals; it is
rather out of context here; we shall focus on communication problems in
Business will collapse miserably on account of communication
problems. There will be irksome
misunderstanding among partners, fellow-workers, agents and customers, so
on. This ugly misunderstanding will spoil
the relationship between the workers and once it is spoiled, the business environment
will turn bad entailing further negative consequences. The immediate negative impact will be on the
productivity of the company. What kind
of business can go on with reducing productivity? The other things that will follow are erosion
into profit, increasing turnover and the most devastating loss of market
reputation. All these facts go to prove
the importance of good communication in any business organization.
Now, let us look into the barriers to good communication, that is, the
faults and facts that stop communication.
The assumption that the words mean the same thing both to the speaker
and the listener is the most common barrier to communication. Excepting in scientific communication where
specific terminology is used, in general communication, there is greater
possibility that words do mean different things to the speaker and to the
listener. For example, the common word
‘care’ can be understood in different ways by different people.
Sometime the speaker wants to impress the listener, the writer, the
reader, and he chooses t o use very bombastic and unfamiliar words; this will
normally result in wrong or miscommunication. Therefore, only popular words
must be used with awareness of the understanding of the listener or the reader.
The speaker or the writer, who is called sender in communication
discussion, must be aware of the fact that words carry emotional overtones.
Therefore, whenever there is a need to talk about subjects like sex, racism,
religion and community, words must be carefully used with necessary
explanation. The carefulness must be
exercised particularly when the talk includes some unpopular notions or
ideas. In Business context, such situations
must be strictly avoided so that the relationship is not strained.
Another significant barrier to communication is information-overload.
It is said mind is naturally limited in its energy to understand anything new;
therefore, too much information or too many details must not be included in
communication. There is a possibility mind of the listener becomes tired if the
communication is too long or too boring.
The attention level of the mind keeps changing and diminishing as time
These are the common barriers to communication which must be avoided.
In our next session, we shall deal with business communication and its