BBA Business Communication Study Material Barrier and Breakdowns : BBA 2019 2020 Most Important Notes Study Material for Material Barrier and Breakdown.
- Effective Communication is the life blood of an organization. But, unfortunately, many barriers and breakdowns in communication arise.
- A thorough understanding of the process of communication is necessary in order to deal with those barriers and breakdowns.
- Problems in communication may arise at the level of the sender, the transmission, the receiver and the feedback coming from the receiver.
- Communication is very often distorted by ‘noise’ in the course of transmission.
- Noise has wide connotations and includes many factors occurring at the level of the sender as well as the receiver.
- There are many kinds of barriers to communication – those resulting from lack of planning and wrong assumptions, semantic, cultural, socio – psychological, emotional barriers, selectivity in perception, passing on information and listening, information overload/ insufficient period for adjustment, goal conflicts and offensive style.
By now it must be clear how important effective communication is. It is the very life blood of all business. No communication, no business. Even then very often problems, serious and not so serious, arise because of something going wrong in communication. There are innumerable instances of miscommunication, malcommunication, incomplete communication, misconstrued communication and so on. Managers often complain about communication breakdowns as one of their most important problems. Specialists in the field have made serious studies regarding these problems and come up with useful insights into what have widely come to be known as ‘barriers’ to communication.
Before we go into these barriers it is worthwhile to have another, closer look at the process of communication. In the very beginning of this book communication has been defined as a “process by which meanings are exchanged between people through the use of a common set of symbols”. A schematic or diagrammatic representation of this process is very much in order at this juncture it can be shown as follows:
Problem/barriers/breakdown may arise at any of the following levels:
- The sender’s level in
- Formulating/organizing thought, ideas, message.
- Encoding the message.
2. The receiver’s level in
- Receiving the message.
- Decoding the received message.
- Understanding level where ‘noise’ occurs.
3. Transmission level where ‘noise’ occurs.
4. The feedback/reaction level that is a necessary condition of the completion of the entire process.
Unfortunately communication is very often affected/distorted/blunted by noise that occurs primarily at the transmission level. Literally the word ‘noise’ means “interference that occurs in a signal and prevents you from hearing sounds properly”. It is, therefore, the first major barrier to communication. In a factory, for example, where there are machines and an engine making a constant noise, oral communication becomes difficult. Blaring of loudspeakers around is bound to interface 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 effects, 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/breakdowns.
Noise is not just all this. Its wider connotations include many other factors that are likely to hinder communication. And these factors may exist at the level of the sender as well as that of the receiver. For example, on the sender’s part encoding may be faulty because of the use of confusing ambiguous symbols. At the receiver’s level reception may be inaccurate because of inattention. Recoding may be faulty because wrong or unexpected interpretation may be attached to words/symbols. Understanding of the message may be warped by prejudices. Desired results may not like 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.
Communication, especially in business environment, is not a casual affair. But unfortunately, some people take it lightly. The result is that that the message to be sent across may not be carefully planned. It may not be properly organized or composed, or may be transmitted through a wrongly chosen medium. For example, giving a long winding narration of events/meetings /results etc in respect of sales during a particular period where a presentation through tables/graphs is needed will lead to miscommunication. In the same way careful choice of time is also very important. And so is the choice of place.
Communication quite often breaks down or becomes an embarrassing affair if we keep acting an assumption without caring to seek clarifications. As somebody has lightly but effectively said, “If you assume you make an ass of U (you) and me.” If for example , somebody, say a customer, writes to us that he/she would be visiting our office/factory on a particular day without caring to write/telephone that he/she would like to be picked up assuming that we will do all that as routine, it will be regarded as case of incomplete communication. It may lead to loss of goodwill.
Communication is primarily concerned with the transmission of meaning the systematic study of which is Semantics. That is why any problems arising from the expression/transmission of meaning are called semantic problems or barriers. Most of the communication is based on words and words are liable to be used in myriad different ways. The number of words, how so ever large, is limited, but the contexts, intended meanings and interpretations, their combinations and usages are many times more. The meaning is in the mind of the sender and also in that of the receiver. But, then it is not always necessary for the meaning in the mind of sender to be the same as that in the mind of the receiver. It is, therefore, of vital importance for the sender to encode his message in such a way that the receiver decodes it to get the intended meaning. And very often that does not happen. An advertisement, for example, says, “We give you much more”. It is an ambiguous statement. The question arises, “More than what?” There are many different interpretations of every other word/sentence/utterance. One must aim at simplicity, clarity and brevity so as to minimize the chances of different interpretations. One should also avoid using jargon as it conveys meaning to a limited group.