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Barriers in organizational communication



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  • 1. Barriers in Communication Prof Aparna Rao 25-06-12
  • 2. FEATURES OF COMMUNICATION Dynamic: Constantly changing Continuous: You cannot ‘not’ communicate Two-way/circular: Never one way Unrepeatable: Same message, same sender can have different meanings for different listeners Irreversible: Once said… Complex: Multiple cycles, multiple processes at one time
  • 3. Communication Skills for Managers Barriers to Effective Communication  Messages that are unclear, incomplete, difficult to understand  Messages sent over the an inappropriate medium  Messages with no provision for feedback  Messages that are received but ignored  Messages that are misunderstood  Messages delivered through automated systems that lack the human element 15–3 © Copyright McGraw-Hill. All rights reserved.
  • 4. 21st Century Workplace Challenges & DemandsPresent workplace Multi-cultural Multiple time zones Languages People Technology Expectations – Knowledge workers Communication
  • 5. Cultural Differences Global Village – Internet, Skype, Technology, time zone barriers Not necessary, but useful to be multi- lingual Accent Neutralization Barriers built in from childhood – mindset – ‘not my fault’ / ‘am so strong’ Mindset evolving towards projection Multi-ethnic
  • 6. Types of Barriers Physical Psycho-social Cultural Linguistic Semantic Body Language
  • 7. Physical BarriersPhysical Barriers Challenges of multi-tasking - Man, by nature, not wired for this Speed of thinking, talking, typing – 200 wpm, 80 wpm, 40 wpm -Deficit Word pickers – During a talk/conversation one word may trigger a feeling of ‘I know what’s coming’ Concentration time – Linkages – miss the talk, snap back with change of inflection/tone etc Medium Interference – in communication, eating, driving, talking on the cellphone while walking on the road/public travel, texting in class…
  • 8. Cultural Differences The result of U.S. warning to Japan for unconditional surrender - an ambiguous ‘mokusatu’ – meaning ‘to kill with silence’ Tokyo radio used the word, saying the government would mokusato the declaration and fight on…The English translation became ‘reject’ and the President took it as a rebuff. The result? Egyptian pilots radioed (in English) their intention to land at an airbase on Cyprus, and the Greek traffic controllers reportedly responded with silence, indicating refusal The Egyptians’ interpretation of this silence – assent The outcome? Lives lost…
  • 9. Cultural Differences Assuming Similarity -Danish Woman with baby in the US Assuming Difference – Urban/rural; Eastern/Western/South/North etc. Eye Contact – Critical – Differences in stare, gaze, lecherous look, business look … Gestures – Thumbs up, Victory sign – meanings Basic unwritten rule to follow – no assumptions, no judgments; ‘Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see’
  • 10. Linguistic Differences Language, Culture & Body Language – inter-twined E.g. English – You; Yes, yeah Indian languages – Aap, Tum, tu; words describing relationships – cousin, aunt, mausera bhai, chachera bhai, mausi, chachi, maami etc. Word bai – in Hindi and Marathi When disrespect is perceived, the message is lost in the emotional thought process over the disrespect
  • 11. Semantic Differences French Lemonade – cannot be launched with the same name in English speaking countries Japanese brand of cold drink Argentinian curry powder - Poo German drink Portugal tuna – Atum bumCommunication is about making meaning… make sure you communicate what you are meant to The intended outcome of the message should be clear to sender and receiver
  • 12. Psycho-Social Barriers Status Horns/Halo Effect Allness & Closed Mind Resistance to Change Unclarified Assumption Different Perceptions
  • 13. Organizational BarriersCommunication Relationship Satisfaction Extent to which available information meets task- related and general information needs of employees in an organization Perceptions of Justice – Distributive, Procedural & interactional Justice Evaluated by 4 aspects of communication in an organization – with immediate superiors, peers, top management & overall communication within the organization
  • 14. Justice – Multi dimensional Construct Distributional Justice – Fairness of the outcome of the process Procedural – Fairness perceived in the policies, procedures and criteria followed in the process Interactional – perceptions about the manner of treatment of people
  • 15. Premises & Survey Findings There is a positive correlation between CRS and all facets of organizational communication CRS and top management would provide strong predictions for distributive and procedural justice CRS with immediate supervisor is a predictor for interactional justice Necessary to ensure that messages are routed through communication channels
  • 16. BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION•PERCEPTUAL BARRIERS•CONTENT BARRIERS Content Known/Unknown, Disinterest•PERSONAL BARRIERS Poor Listening/ Thinking of response
  • 17. BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION•ENVIRONMENTAL BARRIERS Light/Air/Noise/Ventilation/Interruption•LINGUISTIC BARRIERS Language/Semantics/Tone/DeliveryStyle•PSYCHOLOGICAL BARRIERS Frustrated/Anxiety/Anger/Status•PHYSIOLOGICAL BARRIERS Brain-Tongue Speed/ Unwell
  • 18. Language BarriersIci on parle Anglais...Ici on se rit de votre francais.(We speak English here...We laugh at your French here)
  • 19. What Kind of Barriers Do You See Here?
  • 20. Types of Barriers Interpersonal –Takes into account uniqueness of individuals due to age, perceptions, experiences, education, culture, pe rsonality – interpretation differs – e.g.???Causes – Wrong assumptions, varied perceptions, wrong inferences, differing background, blocked categoriesPrevent or overcome – ‘You’ attitude, audience oriented choice of words, technical words to be explained, avoid oversimplification
  • 21. Prevent or Overcome OrganizationalBarriers Keep receiver in mind Open communication environment Avoid too many transfer stations Avoid communication when emotionally disturbed Be aware of diversity in culture, language etc. Use appropriate non-verbal cues Select most suitable medium Analyse feedback
  • 22. Additional Reading communication_barriers_and_strategies.html - Strategies m.pdf - Communication across cultural barriers - Workplace Communication - Gestures 10-hand-gestures/ - Hand gestures to avoid
  • 23. Thank You