Common Barriers to Effective Communication:

  • Emotional barriers and taboos. Some people may find it difficult to express their emotions and some topics may be completely 'off-limits' or taboo.
  • Lack of attention, interest, distractions, or irrelevance to the receiver. 
  • Differences in perception and viewpoint.
  • Physical disabilities such as hearing problems or speech difficulties.
  • Physical barriers to non-verbal communication. Not being able to see the non-verbal cues, gestures, posture and general body language can make communication less effective.
  • Expectations and prejudices which may lead to false assumptions or stereotyping. People often hear what they expect to hear rather than what is actually said and jump to incorrect conclusions.
  • Cultural differences. The norms of social interaction vary greatly in different cultures, as do the way in which emotions are expressed. 

A skilled communicator must be aware of these barriers and try to reduce their impact by continually checking understanding and by offering appropriate feedback.

  • The highlighted items are the most pervasive and challenging causes of communication problems, which is why we believe using the unique tool - the 6 Cultural Dimensions - is the most effective way to improve communication, teamwork, organizational culture and conflict managment.

Workplace Communication Problems - from an Ask Dave column

Journal of Business Studies

5 Ways Workplace Communication Effectiveness Can Increase Productivity 

Hoffstede's 6 Cultural Dimensions

Here is one site with info on the 6 cultural dimensions