According to Krogerus (2016), communication is a process of transmitting information from one group to another group by using language, signs, semiotic rules, and symbols. In addition, Business communication is a process of sharing information between people within and outside of the organization and this is performed for an organization’s commercial benefit (Guffey, 2016). Effective communication is very significant for a business organization to gain a common goal of the business.
Common Barriers and Challenges to Communication
Effective communication with its staff is the most valuable skill that a manager can possess. Successful managers depend on proper communication skills to express strategic decisions to the staff and inspire them to gain common goals (Quill, 2015). There are a number of barriers to communication which are described as follows:
The physical barrier is a condition that acts as a barrier to effective communication to send a message from one person to another person (The Coaching Room, 2016). Environment or the interior design of the workplace of an organization, technological problems, distortion, and noise are the physical barriers. The physical barriers are less if the proximity of the sender and the receiver is high and less technology is required.
According to Quill (2015), Perceptual barriers are those barriers that rigid in someone’s mind. The way a person communicates could be affected by inflexible ideas, typical behavior patterns, and poor body language. A manager and staff must keep an open mind in the organization when talking and be fascinated by the conversation. Moreover, they clearly express their message to avoid any negative assumptions.
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Modern business organizations are conducted in the global community and there is a mix of staff s from diverse cultures in the workplace. It is significant to understand the cultural sensitivities of the business organizations’ stakeholders and respect their values to remove cultural barriers from the workplace (The Coaching Room, 2016). Business organizations must classify cultural differences as well as develop business strategies to remove cultural barriers.
In a business organization, communicating with the staff whose mother language is not English can create problems. The way people speak in a different language from each generation, speech weaknesses can create comprehension issues, and specific language of the industry may difficult to recognize for someone who is unfamiliar to it (The Caching Room, 2016). By utilizing the common strategies including translation services, learning the basics of a foreign language, and using several methods of communication including video can help to overcome language barriers.
Workplace relations among genders have developed vastly over a few years. Communication styles among the genders in the workplace are often different that could create problems among the work colleagues (Quill, 2015). Thus, it is very significant to respect both males and females in the organization. Effective communication can be gained between genders if both males and females feel safe when transmitting their ideas and opinions in the workplace.
Interpersonal communication consists of not only verbal communication but also non-verbal communication. Poor self-esteem and incapability to create effective communication with others can forbid the managers or staff from communicating with their colleagues. The interpersonal barriers mainly create in the workplace because of staff language differences, cultural differences, personality differences, and generational differences (The Coaching Room, 2016). Thus, business organizations should take proper strategies in business to overcome these interpersonal barriers.
Sports Love is a sport and leisure company in the UK. It faces ineffective communication in its organization and this creates a negative impact on its customer experience.
The key barriers to communication of Sports Love are the language barriers and cultural barriers because staffs of this company are from multinational and diverse cultures
Suggestions to Overcome Communication Barriers
According to MSG (2018), A business organization should develop several strategies to overcome the communication barriers and these are described as follows:
- Use clear language: it is significant to use clear and simple language when communicating in the workplace with each other to overcome communication barriers. In addition, the use of jargon and ambiguous words should be avoided (MSG, 2018).
- Eliminate differences in perception: business organizations must ensure that they are employing the right individuals for the right job. It is a great responsibility of the interviewer to make sure that the interviewee has knowledge of both written and spoken language (MSG, 2018). However, effective training should be provided to the staff.
- Active Listening: It is essential to listen carefully and actively when communicating to overcome communication barriers. Active and careful listening means hearing a message with proper understanding. The speaker must ensure by inquiring questions that if his/her message is understood or not by the receiver. This is also the same for the receiver.
- Avoid Information Overload: The manager and staff must know how to communicate shortly with effective words. Because information overload in communication can create communication barriers among the staff and managers (MSG, 2018).
- Proper Media Selection: The managers should select proper communication media. Oral communication is preferred to convey a clear and simple message (MSG, 2018). Written communication should be stimulated to deliver a complex message.
- Simple Organizational Structure: Organizational structure should not complex because a complex organizational structure creates communication barriers in the workplace. If organizational structure is simple, then business communication will be effective.
- Flexibility in meeting the targets: The managers should make sure that staff is meeting the targets in time devoid of skipping communication’s formal channels for effective communication in the organization (MSG, 2018). Staff should not be pressurized by managers to achieve their targets.
The language barrier, cultural barrier, lack of communication of management with staffs, lack of attention and care are faced by Sport Love
To overcome language barriers, Sports Love take strategy to create a common language in its organization
Sports Love also improve its customer service care and understand the customer experience to overcome communication barriers
This company also creates fairness in its organization that helps staffs from diverse culture to make effective communication
Impact of Culture on Communication
According to Yell (2016), Culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving. Culture has a great impact on communication which is described as follows:
Interpretation of reality: Not knowing the value of other countries can create momentary embarrassment in the workplace and affect communication significantly.
Understanding of role relations: It is essential to know and understand role distinctions and adapt a person’s communication. This has a great impact on communication (Stella, 2016).
Goal-oriented behavior: Different cultures are categorized in different ways including social-position, effort-optimism, etc. Different types of culture can affect communication in different ways.
Cultural and language style: Different cultures people talk in different languages and speech forms also different types such as teasing, flattery, charming, directness, or effusiveness in a different culture (Stella, 2016). Theses culture and language style has a great impact on communication
Culture influence behavior: Culture behavior influences the behaviors of a person and this also influences communication (Yell, 2016). Thus, business organizations should develop strategies to maintain effective communication.
The key barriers to communication are Physical barriers, Perceptual barriers, Cultural barriers, and Language Barrier, and Physiological barrier Interpersonal barriers. Communication barriers can be overcome by using clear language, eliminating differences in perception, active listening, avoiding information overload, reduce the noise level, using and select proper media when communicating, simplifying the organizational structure, and flexibility in meeting the targets of communication. Culture has a significant impact on the communication of individuals and businesses.
- Krogerus, M. (2016) The Communication Book. 2nd London: Prentice-Hall.
- Guffey, M. E. (2016) Essentials of Business Communication. 10th Boston: Sage Publication.
- Quill, T. E. (2015) Barriers to Effective Communication. 2nd Oxford: John Wiley and Sons.
- The Coaching Room (2016) 7 Barriers to Effective Communication Killing Your Relationships. Available at: https://www.thecoachingroom.com.au/blog/7-barriers-to-effective-communication-killing-your-relationships. [Accessed on: 12 December 2018]
- MSG (2018) Overcoming Communication Barriers. Available at: https://www.managementstudyguide.com/overcoming-communication-barriers.htm. [Accessed on 12 December 2018]
- Yell, S. (2016) Communication and Culture. 3rd Harlow: Pearson Publication.
- Stella, M. (2016) Communicating across Culture. 2nd London: McGraw Hill.