Barriers in Effective Communication


Communication is an exchange of message/code/signal or any other sign or expression that conveys one’s feelings, emotions, or thoughts.

This follows a step by step process including five important elements:

  1. Sender – the one who sends the message
  2. Message – the content which is being delivered
  3. Medium – the channel of the communication
  4. Receiver – to whom the message is being delivered
  5. Feedback – response from the receiver

Effective communication and barriers in communication

Communication always includes two parties – the sender and the receiver. The cycle of communication completes only when the receiver responds to the message of the sender. Now there comes one more concept called Effective Communication.

Communication is said to be effective when the receiver interprets the message in the exact way as to what the sender meant to say. It simply means eliminating miscommunication and misunderstandings.

However, some common barriers affect communication between individuals. Let’s understand what they are:

  • Cultural Barrier – Cultural gap or difference acts as a barrier to effective communication. People coming from different cultures find it difficult to communicate because of differences in the social backdrop, opinion, place of origin, language, and habits.
  • Language Barrier- Explaining and understanding is the biggest challenge in communication. The language barrier happens to be the most when you are in a foreign place. Also, words matter a lot while communicating. For a region or community, it may have a good meaning but the same word could be indecent in other languages.
  • Perceptual Barrier – We all see the world differently and hence have different perceptions. When a person is not able to understand the way others are communicating due to a difference in opinion and perceptions, it is called perceptual barrier. 
  • Emotional Barrier – Many people hold back from communicating their thoughts and feelings to others due to fear, mistrust, and suspicion. Some common examples of emotional barriers could be – the communication between parents and an adolescent/teenage child, communication between boss and employee, etc.
  • Technical Barrier – With the involvement of technology in communication, technical barriers have also become a major issue that breaks the chain of communication. Technical barriers are the network or internet issues that occur when communicating through an electronic device like mobile phones, computers, laptops, etc.

Learn more about barriers of communication here.