BBA Business Communication Study Material Barrier and Breakdowns

BBA

BUSINESS COMMUNICATION

CULTURAL BARRIERS


BARRIERS AND BREAKDOWNS IN COMMUNICATION

In has been pointed out earlier in this book that, especially in international environment, cultural differences often cause communication problems. The same category of words, phrases, symbols, actions, colours mean different things to people of different countries/cultural backgrounds. For example, in Western countries black colour is associated is associated with death and mourning while in the Far East white is the colour of mourning. In the United States people love to be called by their first name while in Britain people are more formal and like to be addressed by their title or their last name. In the hierarchical structure of Indian society and business environment also the last name is important.

BBA

BUSINESS COMMUNICATION

SOCIO – PSYCHOLOGICAL BARRIERS


BARRIERS AND BREAKDOWNS IN COMMUNICATION

The attitudes and opinions, place in society and status – consciousness arising from one’s position in the hierarchical structure of the organization, the state of one’s relations with peers, seniors, juniors, family background – all these factors deeply influence one’s ability to communicate both as a sender and receiver, both in encoding and decoding the messages. Status – consciousness is widely known to be serious communication barriers in organizations. It creates psychological distance leading to breakdown of communication or miscommunication. A man high up in an organization often builds up a wall around himself that the people below find it difficult to break through. Thus it is seen that power – centers restrict participation of the less powerful in decision – making. In the same way one’s family background formulates one’s attitudes and communication skills.

BBA

BUSINESS COMMUNICATION

EMOTIONS


BARRIERS AND BREAKDOWNS IN COMMUNICATION

Encoding and decoding of messages depends to quite some extent on one’s emotional state at a particular time. Extreme emotions, like jubilation or depression, are likely to hinder effective communication. Anger is the worst enemy of communication. A message received when one is angry is likely to be interpreted in a very different manner than when one is calm and composed. Stress may also lead to building up of negative emotions, further leading to communication breakdown.

BBA

BUSINESS COMMUNICATION

SELECTIVE PERCEPTION

BARRIERS AND BREAKDOWNS IN COMMUNICATION

Most of the factors mentioned above lead to selective perception. It means that the receivers selectively see and hear depending upon their needs, motivations, background, experience and other personal characteristics. While decoding the message they project their own interests and expectations into the process of communication further leading to a particular kind of feedback. The fact is that we don’t see reality. We interpret what we see and call it reality.

BBA

BUSINESS COMMUNICATION

FILTERING

BARRIERS AND BREAK DOWNS IN COMMUNICATION

Filtering means that a sender manipulates in such a way that it will be seen more favorable by the receiver. For example, a manager likes to tell his boss what he feels his boss wants to hear. In this process he is filtering information. The result of filtering is that the man at the top perhaps never gets objective information. In this connection it is worthwhile quoting what a former Vice President of General Motors says, “…..lower – level specialists…provided information in such a way that they would get the answer they wanted. I know. I used to be down below and do it.” In the process of filtering the information for onward transmission to the senior executives, the people at the lower levels condense and synthesize it, thus sometimes holding back/ignoring some important parts of information. The more vertical levels in the hierarchical system, the more chances there are for filtering.

BBA

BUSINESS COMMUNICATION

INFORMATION OVERLOAD

BARRIERS AND BREAK DOWNS IN COMMUNICATION

Unrestricted flow of information may, and very often does, become another barrier. Too much information is unmixed blessing. It may stifle the senior executive or bore and frustrate him. People respond to this kind of information in different ways. Firstly, they may disregard certain information as, for example, we see that very many letters are ignored. Secondly, people are also likely to make errors, when they become overwhelmed or swamped with too much information. Thirdly, people may delay processing/responding to information at least for the time being. Delay may become a habit, causing serious communication problems. Fourthly, people may become highly selective in their response. And selectivity may and may not contribute to effective communication.

BBA

BUSINESS COMMUNICATION

LOSS BY TRANSMISSION

BARRIERS AND BREAK DOWNS IN COMMUNICATION

When message pass on from person to person in a series of transmissions they are likely to become less and less accurate. They get diluted on the way.

BBA

BUSINESS COMMUNICATION

POOR RETENTION

BARRIERS AND BREAK DOWNS IN COMMUNICATION

As corollary to the communication problem mentioned above, mention must also be made of poor retention of information. Human memory being what it is, and depending upon one’s mental makeup, one may not always retain what he is told thus, the necessity of repeating the message using several channels/media becomes obvious. That is why organizations often use more than one medium to communicate the same message.

BBA

BUSINESS COMMUNICATION

POOR LISTENING

BARRIERS AND BREAK DOWNS IN COMMUNICATION

Poor listening causes serious problems in communication. There are too many talkers and too few listeners. The important of listening has already been highlighted. And, of course, everybody knows about it. But even then problems do keep cropping up owing to poor listening and hasty evaluation. One reason is that mostly people are too much involved in their own problems and pampering their own egos. The result is that they are really not interested in the speaker. In order to become good listeners we have to learn to rise above our egos, keep our eyes and ears open and empathise with others. Otherwise the habit of poor listening is bound to become a major barrier to communication

BBA

BUSINESS COMMUNICATION

INSUFFICIENT PERIOD FOR ADJUSTMENT

BARRIERS AND BREAK DOWNS IN COMMUNICATION

As has been said in the beginning the purpose of communication is to effect change. It may concern change in employees’ shifts in the time, an employee’s transfer to another department, change in type or order of work, decisions regarding the skills to be used and so on. The management may decide to send communications regarding further training, career adjustment etc. People respond to change in different ways, and they require their own time to think about the full meaning, implications, and consequences of the message. It is, therefore, important to give them sufficient time. Only then the communication will be effective.

BBA

BUSINESS COMMUNICATION

GOAL – CONFLICTS

BARRIERS AND BREAK DOWNS IN COMMUNICATION

Various units and sub – units in an organization internalize their own goals, leading to splitting or bifurcation of interests. This internalization of sub – unit goals leads to goal – conflicts while communication can be a conflict – reduction mechanism. Conflict acts as a communication – reduction mechanism. When two parties are in conflict, communication is minimal. When people start competing for the fulfillment of their narrow sectional interests a number of barriers to communication arise.

BBA


BUSINESS COMMUNICATION

OFFENSIVE STYLE OF COMMUNICATION

BARRIERS AND BREAK DOWNS IN COMMUNICATION

Experts point out, and as we also realize, the greatest barrier to communication is quite often the style of communication used by the manager. When a manager sends a message in such a way that the workers/juniors become defensive he/she contributes to the negative factor of poor interpersonal relationship. And if the relationships are already strained, any offensive style adopted by the manager is bound to lead to communication breakdown.

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