For the smooth workflow and business operations in any organization, the communication channels need to be clear and transparent.
The communication flow comprises of verbal and non-verbal channels. Verbal includes face to face conversation or through video call or audio calls. And non-verbal includes e-mails and messages amongst others.
Barriers to Verbal Communication at workplace arise due to the factors of cultural differences, insecurities, lack of knowledge, and behavioural issues.
Such barriers affect the business processes and operations of the organization and thereby impacting the growth and profits along with its repute and brand image in the market.
Top 9 Barriers to Verbal Communication at the workplace
#1. Encoding and Decoding issues
One of the major factors resulting in the Barriers to Verbal Communication is the issues of encoding and decoding of the information. Many of the organization use sign language or symbols to encode and decode the crucial information. This case is usually applicable to the confidential or legal information that needs to be protected from the outsiders or third parties.
If the internal team is unable to encode or decode the communication or vital information, it can result in the cropping up of various internal issues.
#2. One way channel of communication
Another factor that adds to the list of Barriers to Verbal Communication is the issue of one-way communication. It arises when there is no dialogue between the employees of the organization. The case usually occurs when the superior dictates the work to his subordinates, and there is no feedback or inputs taken from the team.
Such Barriers to Verbal Communication results in the lack of morale and motivation within the team affecting the workflow and business operations as a whole
#3. Cultural Differences
Barriers to Verbal Communication owing to the cultural differences between the team members of the organization arises when an organization has it is business operations spread across all over the native country and in foreign locations as well.
Every country or regions within the same country have and follow a certain set of traditions and culture and language can be one of the biggest barriers.
For instance, if a European company is spreading its operations in the country of China, the language will be one of the biggest Barriers to Verbal Communication.
Either the team dealing with the parties in China have to learn the local language or the company has to hire a local mediator who is capable of communicating in both the languages ensuring the smooth flow of the communication.
#4. Lack of Experience and Understanding
Way the person communicates and understands the depth and vitality of the same highlights a lot about his experience in the industry and his understanding of the domain in which he is operating and working.
An experienced employee in the organization will have clear and crisp communication and will expect the same from others in his team.
Whereas, when the employee is relatively new or doesn’t understand tasks and responsibilities in a mature and organized manner, his communication will be quite vague and ambiguous in nature.
#5. Incorrect Medium of Communication
Using an incorrect or wrong medium of communication can result in the Barriers to Verbal Communication. If the message that needs to be communicated is very important for the organization, then the employee needs to pick up the phone and communicate the same.
But if the employee uses the medium of e-mail or SMS, the communication loses its vitality and importance owing to the wrong choice of the communication medium.
The other party will have his own set of perceptions and beliefs of the communication, not realizing its importance and vitality.
#6. Lack of Attention
If communicating the vital information in a clear, crisp, and transparent manner is quite important; understanding and grasping the same paying astute attention is also very important.
And if any of the team members are not paying proper attention to the important information that is being communicated in the meeting results in the Barriers to Verbal Communication.
It is quite imperative to understand, grasp, and process the information communicated at the workplace. Not paying proper attention results in mistakes in carrying out the tasks and responsibilities.
#7. Wrong Timing
Communicating the right information at the right time is very important in the organization. If the information is communicated or transmitted at a wrong time, it can act as one of the Barriers to Verbal Communication.
It is very important to communicate important information to the top management by fixing prior appointments rather than just communicating with them in an impromptu manner.
Following the rules of correct timing and schedules to convey important communication helps in getting desired results and solutions to the problems.
#8. Wrong use of words
As mentioned earlier, it is very important for the communication to be very crisp and clear for better understanding and to arrive at the desired results.
Many employees use wrong or incorrect words that can be quite misleading and hurt the sentiments of others resulting in the Barriers to Verbal Communication.
Use of expletives, foul language, and half baked information can hurt the entire flow of communication.
#9. Vague Information
When the information is vague or ambiguous, it can transmit the communication that can be incorrect or misleading. And as they say, incorrect or vague information is more damaging than no information.
Hence, it is very important to fully understand the information that needs to be communicated and understand its depth and importance before imparting or transmitting the same to the other team members.
The various Barriers to Verbal Communication can be acted upon and resolved with the proper corrective measures, such as providing training and development to the employees of the organization. Clear communication holds vital importance in the growth and image building of the organization.