Revision:Barriers to communication and causes of communication failure

Barriers to communication can occur if the recipient has failed to convey the meaning or / and the importance of the message.

  • Sender breakdown – too much information is being sent, so the recipient misses key points. Also, language can be difficult to understand, as it can be too complex.
  • Method breakdown – when information is very detailed or complicated, then written instructions are better than messages which can be misinterpreted.
  • Recipient breakdown – the recipient deliberately makes a choice to misinterpret the message because of their attitude to either the sender to the message at hand.

Other problems with communication could be:

  • Long chain of command.
  • Language - complex, and hard to understand.
  • Vague purpose – not detailed enough, more explanation required
  • Inappropriate medium (method used, e.g. written, electronically etc).
  • Red tape – message gets passed on to many different people before finally reaching the recipient making the process too long and the message changing. Also, actions can be delayed as a result of a late arrival of the message.
  • Status of two parties – can be intimidated by the other person’s status because of their gender, age etc.
  • Location – distance of recipient or where message has to reach.
  • Distraction – Communication channels breaking up.