Physical barriers to Communication – Physical barriers to communication result from the physical distraction or any external environment which may hinder the smooth flow of communication. Physical barrier is the environmental and natural condition that act as a barrier in communication is sending message from sender to receiver. Some of physical barriers to communication are as under:
Unfortunately communication is very often affected/ distorted/blunted by noise that occurs primarily at the transmission level Literally the word ‘noise’ means interference that occur in a signal and prevents you from hearing sounds properly”. It is, therefore, the first major barrier to communication.
Any disturbance or interference that reduces the clarity and effectiveness of communication is called noise. It may be physical or psychological, written or visual. Noise distracts the persons communicating and acts as barrier to communication. Noise is wider connotations include many other factors that are likely to holder communication. And these factors may exist at the level of the sender as well as that the receiver. For example, on the sender’s part encoding may be faulty because of the use of ambiguous symbols. At the receiver’s level reception may be inaccurate because of in attention. Decoding may be faulty because wrong or unexpected interpretation may be attached words symbols. Understanding of the message may be warped by prejudices. Desired results may not take place because of fear or inherent resistance to change. In this way we see that noise is not just one single factor but a whole range of factors rolled into one big barricade that we must make every effort to overcome but we cannot wish away.
In a factory where there are machines and engines making a constant noise oral communication becomes difficult. Blaring of loudspeakers around is bound to interfere with our conversation, whether face to face or on telephone. In the same way a static in the transmission line, as in a poor telephone connection or faulty TV cable, distorts the sound signals and affects communication. In the same way some technical problem in the ultramodern communication systems or adverse weather conditions interfering with transmission may lead to major communication barriers.
(i) Physical Noise
Loud noise of speaker playing outside or noise due to machines, affects listening process of persons communicating.
(ii) Psychological Noise
Mental trouble and turmoil affect the receiver’s listening and understanding the message. Similarly inattentiveness and indifference of the listener make communication ineffective.
(iii) Visual Noise
The late arrival of employee results in distraction of superior’s attention.
(iv) Written Noise
Bad handwriting and incorrect typing irritates the reader not to speak of understanding the contents.
2. Time and Distance
Improper timing also hinders the process of communication, e.g., an order at closing hour to execute an urgent work, may cause resentment in the employee who has to catch train for going back to his home. Message requiring action in distant future may be forgotten. A phone call at midnight, interrupting sleep, irritates the receiver, if message is not urgent.
Distance also act, as barriers to the smooth flow of communication. The use of telephone along with computer technology has made communication very fast and has, to a large extent, overcome the space barrier. However, sometimes mechanical breakdowns render these facilities ineffective. In such cases, the distance between the transmitter and the receiver becomes a mighty barrier. Some factories run in shifts. There is a kind of communication gap between persons working in different shifts. Faulty seating arrangement in the room can also become a barrier to effective communication, for whichever seats the employees may be occupying, they want an eye contact with one another.
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3. Financial Position
Shortage of financial resources can create obstacles in the flow of communication process. It is not possible to get all the written material at the communication centre due to financial constraints. Financial constraints pose problems before the scientists and researchers in participating various seminars, conferences, etc. Expensive modern techniques also create obstacles in the transmission of message.
4. Overloaded or Inadequate Information
Overloaded information distracts the receiver’s attention and dilutes the theme of message and inadequate information falls short to convey the message. Information should be adequate, neither less than desired and not more than required. If information is not so, it cannot serve the purpose of communication.
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