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Problems and Barriers in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication

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Problems and Barriers in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication Dr. B.P. Singh Senior Scientist Division of Extension Education Indian Veterinary Research Institute Izatnagar

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To accomplish the of function planning, organizing, leading and controlling and It is an important activity of higher authority to control the disturbances. Why Communication is required in organization ? The managerial persons do their best to send the right message to right person at right time, but still communication becomes ineffective in their direction. Research has pointed out that almost 75 per cent of all business communication fails to achieve the desired goals. Certain external forces, which are beyond the control of management, render communication ineffective. ORGANIZATIONAL BARRIERS INDIVIDUAL BARRIERS

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A study proved that when an organization start growing, its structure expands. This creates various communication problems. The existence of excessive hierarchy creates physical distance between people. The information that finally reached at the end substantially filtered. This problems caused by the problems of status and power differences. One of the scholar Daft has commented : “Low-power people may be reluctant to pass bad news up to the hierarchy, thus giving the wrong impression to upper levels. ” In a like manner high-power people may not pay attention or may feel that low-status people have hardly anything to contribute. ORGANIZATIONAL BARRIERS 5 Barriers Hierarchical Level:

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II. Managerial Unanimity: Authority is a necessary feature of any representative organization. Certain persons having the right to make decision . Yet the basic fact that one person supervise others create a barriers to free and open communication. III. Specialization: Specialization is no doubt a part of organization life. But it often tends to separate people even when they work side by side. The performance of different functions, the pursuance of special interests of sub groups, use of different technical terms frequently prevent any commonality of feeling, make understanding very difficult.

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IV. Lack of Channels : Lack of adequate formal channels reduces communication effectiveness. Organizations should be provide adequate upward, downward and horizontal communication in the form of employee surveys, open-door policies, newsletters, memos, task forces and liaison personnel. In the absence of such formal channels, it is not possible for the organization as a whole to communicate.

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It may be noted that the communication flow may not fit the organization’s task. As Daft has noted, “ If a centralized communication structure is used for a non-routine task, there will not be enough information circulated to solve the problems. When a decentralized, wide-open communication style is used for solving simple tasks, excess communication takes place. The organization is most efficient when the amount of communication flowing among employees fit the nature of the task.” V. Mismatch between communication flow and organization’s tasks:

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It means that some individuals possess unique information and knowledge about their jobs. Many individuals with such skills and knowledge are unwilling to share this information with others. As a result, completely open communication within the organization does not take place. VI. Information Ownership

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INDIVIDUAL BARRIERS There are five specific inter-personnel barriers to communication: ( i ). Differing Perception: People who have different background of knowledge and experience often perceive the same phenomena from different perspective. For example, A case of appreciation.. (ii) Selective Perception: From experiences we learn certain reactions. We expect a train when we hear a train whistle. One becomes defensive when called into the boss’s office (Example 1st April). Thus the expectations we have lead us to see events, people, objects and situations the way we want them to be. This is known as selective perception. It occurs because our perception is limited. A limiting factor is that one cannot grasp the whole of a stimulus at a given instant of time. Receivers selectively see and hear based on their needs, motivation, experiences, background and other personal characteristics. Interpersonal barriers : emotions and perception

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It is closely related to difference in individual perception. For a message to be properly communicated, the words used must mean the same thing to sender and receiver. Suppose, that different department of a company receive a memo stating that a new product is to be developed in a “ short time ”. To people in a research and development, a “ short time” might mean two or three years. To people in finance , a short time might be six weeks whereas, the sale department might think of “ a short time” as a few weeks. Since many different meaning can be assigned to same words , great care must be taken that the receiver gets the message that the sender intended. Another barrier is Jargon- is technical language that member of a group use in communication. People who have special interest or knowledge often forget that not everyone is familiar with their specialized terms. (iii) Language Difference :

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Communication Words used in organization, sometimes, are not properly interpreted. Example: a supervisor may instruct a subordinate to clear up the area (where machine has been installed) before work starts. (v) Noise Noise is also disturb, confuses or otherwise interferes with communication. Communication hardly occurs in totally noise-free environment, The “ boy who cried wolf-wolf” was eventually correct, but he had given the same message so often that people no longer paid any attention to him. Similarly, a manager who levels every order “ Urgent” may find that subordinate are slow to respond when a real emergency develop. (iv) Imprecise use of language

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( vi) Emotional Reaction: Emotional reaction- anger, love, defensiveness, hate, jealously, fear, embarrassment- influence how we understand other message and how we influence others with our own message. Instead of listening in a rational objective manner to what is being said, we occasionally become emotionally involved. If, for example, we are in an atmosphere where we feel threatened with loss of power or prestige, we may lose the ability to gauge the meaning of the message we receive and will respond defensively or aggressively. Mostly it happens when we are in a need to respond to higher authority in a show cause notice.

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(vii) Distrust : A receiver trust or distrust of a message is, to a large extent a function of the credibility of the senders in the mind of receiver. Credibility is determined by a variety of actors. Line message from boss, colleagues, supporting staff etc. perceived in terms of knowledgeable, trustworthy and sincerity. (viii) Poor listening : Since everyone in an organization is always eager to defend his action. Moreover, many supervisor avoid listening because they apprehend that they will get involved in the personal problems of a subordinate. Moreover, listening being a time-consuming process, a manager, having too large a span of control, enjoys limited listening opportunity.

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(ix) Wrong channel : It is about the selection of wrong channel for sending a communication. If, for instance, a message is emotional it is better to transmit it face to face rather than in writing . On the contrary, for routine message , written notes prove most effective. But written notes lack the capacity for rapid feedback and multiple cues are needed for difficult message. (x) Inconsistent verbal and non-verbal communication : Language is a primary medium of communication, but the message we send and receive are strongly influenced by such non-verbal factors such as as body movement, clothing, the distance between two person, posture, gesture, facial expression, eye movement and body contact . A busy manager who does not want to be disturbed might respond to a subordinate’s greeting without looking up from his or her work.

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(xi). Information overload : It is a condition when information inflow exceeds an individual’s processing capacity. e-mail, phone calls, faxes, meetings and processional reading create an onslaught of data that is nearly impossible to process and assimilate. In case of more information, they tend to select out, ignore, pass over or forget information. ( xii) . Defensiveness : When people feel that they’ are being threatened, they tend to react in ways that reduce their ability to achieve mutual understanding. Person – engage in behaviors such as verbally attacking others, making sarcastic remarks, being overly judgmental and questioning others’ motive. So when individuals interpret another’s message as threatening, they often respond in ways that retard effective communication. (xiii) . Filtering : Filtering refers to a sender manipulating information so that it will be seen more favorable by the receiver. Sometimes the information is condensed and synthesized by underlines to avoid from overload with information. Boss never wants to give correct information to his subordinate.

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