Barriers to Communication; Types and Examples

A person wants to communicate one thing at a time, but he communicates something else that he never wanted. This type of behavior in communication is called “The arc of distortion”. Distortion could happen due to some defect in the mechanism of communication. These obstacles in communication are known as “Barriers to Communication”.

Barriers to Communication; Types and Examples

Type of Barriers to Communication

The barriers to effective communication could be of many types: psychological, linguistic, physical, emotional, cultural etc.

Psychological Barriers

There are many types of psychological and mental problems that may affect our communication. Some people have stage fear, phobia, depression, speech disorder, etc., these conditions are hard to manage sometimes and will most certainly limit the ease of our communication.

Linguistic Barriers

The language barrier is one of the main barriers that limit effective communication. The most commonly employed tool of communication is language and the fact is, every major region has its own language, that’s why it is difficult for maximum people to communicate with the people of different regions.

Physical Barriers

Physical barriers are the most obvious barriers to effective communication. Some of the physical barriers are; noise, closed-door, faulty equipment used in the communication process, etc. Most of these barriers can be removed.

Emotional Barriers

An absolute mixture of emotions and facts is necessary for effective communication. Some emotions like anger, frustration, and humor, which are imperfect according to the situation, can blur the decision-making capabilities of a person and limit the effectiveness of their communication.

A person who is mature emotionally will be able to communicate effectively. On the other hand, people with less mature emotionally will face various difficulties when they communicate with others.

Cultural Barriers

Due to globalization, any large organization has people from several parts of the world with different cultures. Religion, dressing sense, drinks, food, pets, and behavior will change drastically from one culture to another. Sometimes it is hard to communicate with each other in such situations.

Attitude Barriers

Some people are introverted and they like to be left alone, others like to be social or sometimes extra clingy. Both of these cases could be a barrier to communication. Some people also have some attitude issues like huge egos and inconsiderable behavior. This type of attitude could be the cause of demotion in organizational positions.

However, sometimes problems like selfishness and egocentric behavior cannot be correctable.

Physiological Barriers

Some physiological limitations like certain disorders or diseases or other could also prevent effective communication between the various channels of an organization. Some example of physiological barriers to effective communication is shrillness of voice, dyslexia, etc. These are not crucial and can be easily removed.

Other Types of Barriers

Other types of barriers are;

Perception Barriers: Different people perceive the same things differently and this is the most considerable fact during the communication process. For effective communication, knowledge of the perception levels of the audience is crucial.

Organizational Barriers: In any organization, there are so many different types of communication processes and each method has its own problems that may become barriers to effective communication.

Technological Barriers: Technology is developing fast, and as a result, it is difficult to adapt to new technologies. So, it is also considered a barrier to communication.

Barriers to Communication

Here are a few barriers to communication;

  • Lack of proper style and feedback ability.
  • Ineffective in maintaining a two-way flow of communication.
  • Unsuited Climate.
  • Lack of technical knowledge.
  • Lack of Ideas.
  • Semantic Difficulties.
  • Lack of leadership qualities.
  • Lack of motivation.

Other barriers are:

Lack of planning

Without proper planning, you cannot communicate properly. Some people start talking and writing without first planning, thinking, and stating the purpose of the message. Also, you have to think about the personality, intelligence, and attributes of the person who is receiving the message.

Lack of trust

Without trust between sender and receiver, communication may lose its true purpose.

Passing Judgement

Passing judgment to the receiver acts as a barrier to communication.

Implied Meaning

If the statement of your message is not clear and straightforward, it considers a barrier to communication. So, every time you send a message to the receiver, keep in mind that your message should be clear, straightforward, and easy to understand.


Distortions can be deliberate or accidental. Sender sent a message but the receiver didn’t take any action on it. It is also a barrier to communication.


The ability to speak language clearly or linguistic ability may be considered a barrier to communication. If the message is not clear then it can be a barrier to communication.

Any barrier to communication could be reduced or overcome with the help of a well-organized system of feedback.

Related Terms

What is communication?

Communication is the act of transferring information from one person, group, or place to another.

Each communication needs at least one sender, one recipient, and a message. Maybe it sounds simple but actually, communication is a very complex subject.

The transmission of the message from the sender to the recipient can be affected by a lot of barriers. These include our cultural situations, emotions, location, and the medium used to communicate. For these barriers, accurate, effective, and unambiguous communication is actually extremely hard. read more>>>

Communication process

Communication is a cyclic process that starts with the sender and ends with the sender in the form of feedback. The communication process consists of some steps where each step constitutes the essence of effective communication.

Here is some elements of effective communication

Importance of Communication

Some of the primary objectives of communication are to convey information like instructions, policies, procedures, decisions, etc., so the listener can read, hear and understand what is said and accept the message.

Communication enables a group of people to think and act together. Without communication, there will be no organization. Poor communication leads to poor coordination and similarly, cooperation depends on communication. read more>>>

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