Types of Unavoidable Communication Barriers

Types of unavoidable communication barriers can clear our view to communication. Barriers to communication can be classified as follows on the basis of the stage of the communication process during which the problem/s arise:

1. Sender-oriented barriers (lack of planning , clarity about the purpose of communication, improper choice of word, wrong choice of channel…)

2. Receiver-oriented barriers (poor listening, lack of interest, ..)

3. Channel- oriented barriers (noise, wrong selection of medium). Anything that hinders the process of communication at any of these levels is a barrier to communication and is also called miscommunication Barriers to communication can be defined as the aspects or conditions that interfere with effective exchange of ideas or thoughts.

Types of Barriers

1. PHYSICAL or Environmental BARRIERS

  • Large working area
    • Closed office doors
    • Separate areas for people of different status
    • It forbids team member from effective interaction with each other

2. Physiological or biological barriers

  • Physiological barriers are related to a person’s health and fitness. This may arise due to disabilities of the sender or the receiver.
  • For example: poor eyesight, deafness and uncontrolled body movement.
  • Physical defects in one’s body may also disrupt communication.


Semantics is the systematic study of the meaning of words. Thus, the semantic barriers are barriers related to language. Such barriers are problems that arise during the process of encoding and/or decoding the message into words and ideas respectively. Types of unavoidable communication barriers can clear our view to communication.

The most common semantic barriers are listed as under:

  1. Misinterpretation of Words

For example, the word ‘yellow‘

  • Use of Technical Language

For example, in the computer jargon, ‘to burn a CD’ means ‘to copy the data on a CD’. To a layman, the word ‘burn’ may have a very different connotation.

  •  Ambiguity

A sender often assumes that his audience would perceive the situation as he does or have the same opinion about an issue or understand the message as he understands it


Personal barriers have to do with the age, education, interests and needs or intentions that differ from person to person.


Emotional or perceptional barriers are closely associated with personal barriers.

6. Socio-Psychological Barriers

Psychological barriers can be described as the cause of distorted communication because of human psychology problems.Status difference

  • In attention
  • Closed mind
  • Fields of experience
  • Information overload

7. Cross-Cultural Barriers

We can infer that culture is the sum total of ideas, customs, arts, skills of a group of people. It is handed down from generation to generation in the form of traditions, or rules. Types of unavoidable communication barriers can clear our view to communication.

8. Organisational Barriers

  • Loss or distortion of messages as they pass from one level to another
  • Filtering of information according to one’s understanding/interpretation
  • Messages not read completely or not understood correctly
  • Deliberate withholding of information from peers perceived as rivals

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