Barriers to Good Communication

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Lack of openness:

Communication between persons should be simple, basic and honest. Additionally, candid disclosure of personal feelings, willingness to express contrary opinions and frankness in evaluating the efforts of fellow employees are significant.


When employees feel that information is threatening to them, they don't communicate. This causes distortion of information as it passes through various levels of an organization, and this causes irreversible damage.

Degree of Motivation:

Communication is conditioned by the motivation behind it, and it is more effective if it appeals the motives of the participant.


While either-or-thinking may work in thoughts, it doesn't work in actions. Due to this type of thinking, a person places him/herself in a position where good communication is jeopardized.


Unjustified assumptions are always damaging communication. Communication should always be clear; mutual understand doesn't always work.

Snap Reactions:

Snap reactions arise when the receiver gets a false impression that little can be gained by listening or reading carefully, and communication is always ineffective.


Fear arises when the listener assumes that words like 'failure,' 'strike,' 'liar,' and 'defeat' will be used. And when this happens, communication doesn't work.


Language barriers always exist, especially at the international level. "Body language" should also be taken into account.

Time constraints:

A message communicated under a time constraint may most likely be ambiguous, hence, result in poor employee response.


This is the method of interpreting messages from other people - and can be both good and bad. Some factors of perception are stereotyping (generalization about a class of people), halo effect (judging a personal solely based on performance), projection (attributing one's undesirable traits to another person).

Poor Listening Skills:

Listening is equally important to speaking. Most managers and executives spend their time listening, and good listening skills lead to better communication.

Additional Readings:

1. Functions of a Business Manager
2. Henry Fayol and Modern Management Theory
3. Modern Management Thoughts and McKinsey's 7-S framework
4. Industrial Planning
5. Management and Setting of Objectives
6. Principals of Organization
7. Matrix Organizations
8. Functions of the Human Resources and Accounting within an Organization
9. Differentiation between Motivation and Satisfaction
10. Barriers to Good Communication
11. Requirements of Effective Controls
12. Formal and Informal Organizations
13. Bonded Rationality

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