This post will help you understand the 3 obstacles to good communication within organizations and will give you ideas to face these obstacles.

Do We Know How To Communicate?

Not always. Sometimes we don’t get the right way to transmit messages.

Possibly, this is your answer and perhaps you share with us the need that we all need to improve this ability.

Difficulties in internal communication

At the workplace, most conflicts are caused by communication problems.

And it is that, depending on the person and the type of message, sometimes a simple message becomes a complex and inconvenient act.

How To Improve Our Ability To Communicate?

To begin with, if we want to improve this ability, we need, on the one hand, patience, ability to analyze and incorporate into our experiences a process of reflection and continuous improvement.

On the other hand, we need to recognize that the effectiveness of messages is limited by external causes beyond our control, such as:

  • Admit the right to think differently.
  • Accept the diversity of perceptions
  • The existence of prejudices in both senders and receivers.

But what is the main obstacle to communication within organizations? How many communication obstacles exist? How can we identify the obstacle that obstruct the communication process? What can we do to improve communications in such an unpredictable and changing environment?

The Main Obstacle In Internal Communication

The Main Obstacle In Internal Communication

The most common obstacle to communication processes within organizations is people:

  • Character and attitude
  • The bad encoding of the messages.
  • Not knowing how to give feedback
  • Lack of social skills
  • The culture they create with their behavior
  • etc

 People are unique and sometimes complex.

Two common communication problems that affect the work environment

1- The character of some commanders and leaders

The communication can be complicated in a company of more than 50 people spread over different areas, with different projects  due to the following causes:

  • The difficult and conflicting nature of some project managers.
  • Area chefs who don’t know how to provide constructive feedback
  • Controls that retain and hide information
  • Leaders without empathy and assertiveness, who exercise power in the wrong way
  • Extensive messages, too technical, with tedious and incomprehensible content
  • Badly used communication channels
  • Poor internal organization

And so, we could cite a long list of obstacles that obstruct the dynamics of communications within the company.

2- The passivity of the senior management

It is also often the case that the directors-general of the business are passive to initiatives in communication and do not intervene in these projects.

In other cases, they are anchored in a culture of secrecy and do not see it necessary to allocate budget and resources to promote internal communication in their respective companies.

These managers are little aware of the value of communication; they have a wrong and poor concept of what internal communication is, they limit it to an intranet and, in their organizations, there is no expert to lead it.

Obstacles And Barriers To Communication

The daily reality in companies shows that communicating experiences, ideas, opinions, thoughts, feelings and beliefs can become a complicated process and, depending on the receiver or the sender. For this reason, many employees prefer silence and thus avoid conflict.

3- The Obstacles To Dialogue And Understanding

Taking into account the contributions of theorists and the day-to-day work, there are basically three types of obstacles that limit the effectiveness of communication: content, environmental and human.

Obstacle # 1 Content

They refer to the lack of responsiveness of the message to the receiver and as a consequence, the messages are not clear.

This may be caused by the following obstacles: lack of objective in the message, too technical vocabulary, imprecise language, lack of clarity in ideas, ambiguity, and message extension.

Precautionary Measures

This barrier could be avoided by pre-testing, considering the objectives of the message, analyzing the target audience and according to it encoding the message.The important thing is not what is said, but what is understood by the receiver, so it is necessary to take care of the codes and semantics of the message.

Other solutions are: designing training programs with effective communication courses for all staff, creating and disseminating a style manual, editing a dictionary that explains the common technical vocabulary used in the company, as published years ago by a well-known company in the pharmaceutical sector.

Obstacle # 2 Environmental

They refer to the context in which it is communicated. Here we could group uncomfortable situations specific to the place and the time when it communicates (inadequate conditions)

Also in this group, we point out those barriers created by the business culture. For example, a company with too many repeaters of a message makes feedback difficult. Organizational bureaucracy punishes the dynamics of communications.

Precautionary Measures

These barriers are faced by opting for a culture of communication, with a leader who leads internal communication, from a plan. Working with a plan is the best guarantee to take advantage of information opportunities, messages, identify audiences and take care of the right time to communicate.

To avoid communication barriers caused by work dissatisfaction and work stress, it is advisable to conduct a regular internal climate study in order to accurately detect the causes of work discomfort.

Obstacle # 3 Humans

They refer to the worker’s own as a person.

We must not forget that every worker has a unique personality and character: listening capacity, susceptibility, attitude to certain issues, job status, and ability.

Psychological barriers are the most complicated, but they must be taken into account because, as we have already said, each person is unique and each person has a way of perceiving and understanding the facts. Human psychology points out that the receptivity of messages is based on their prejudices, beliefs, experience, and expectations of the subject.

Precautionary Measures

This barrier is overcome by the leader with knowledge of psychology and the individuality of each worker.

Hence the importance of training leaders is in emotional intelligence. The good leader knows how to be timely in the messages that he transmits to his collaborators and he knows how to apply empathy, active listening, and constructive feedback.

Social skills training programs for all staff are excellent support for improving the quality of internal communications.

3 Conclusions

  • In the communication process, it may occur that our message does not have the same meaning for our receiver, and it may also be affected by content, environmental and/or human barriers. In most cases, the Great Barrier lies in people, in their attitude.
  • In other cases, the message is limited by the way the messages are encoded, by the absence of targets, by the misuse of channels. Training programs are the best means of reducing these difficulties.
  • On the other hand, in internal communication, another major obstacle lies in the entrepreneurial culture and the lack of resources to promote and care for it.

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