- cultural diversity
- misunderstanding of message
- emotional difference
- past experience
- educational differences
- positional differences among the employees or personnel
- relationship between sender and reciever
Noise is anything that disrupts the
effective flow of information within an organization. This disruption can occur
in several ways, and thus noise as a communication barrier can broadly be
summed up into semantic noise, physical
noise and psychological noise.
Semantic noise:Is the type of noise that
occurs due to the receiver not being able to fully comprehend or capture the
meaning intended by the sender of the message. This type of noise could occur when
an employee uses jargon, slang, or even poor hand writing to convey a message
to a co-worker. In this case the meaning of the message is unclear and thus
hinders effective communication.
Physical noise: This is any environmental or external noise that interferes with either
the technical transmission of the signal or with the message itself. An example
of this noise would be for instance, poor call quality when you are in the
middle of a conference call or hearing co-workers chatting loudly in the next
office when you are about to make an important presentation. A technical breakdown such as the crashing of
a computer can also interfere with the flow of communication and disrupt the
entire communication process.
Physiological noise: Refers to the type of noise that occurs due to an individual's prejudice,
personal bias or even factors such as hunger, headaches or fatigue. When a meeting drags on for a long period of
time, employees may start experiencing hunger pangs or may develop headaches. As
a result, their attention span gets disrupted and they fail to decode the
message that is being communicated to them.
Time and Distance areboth
environmental factors thatplay a
fundamental role when it comes to effective communication. For instance,
Nairobi is 7 hours ahead of Washington D.C. Therefore, if I need urgent data
from a co-worker who has traveled to Washington D.C for a workshop, I would
need to choose an appropriate time to communicate to him/her. Failure to which,
I risk sending the message when he/she is asleep. Furthermore, the urgency of the situation
would also determine the channel that I would select to communicate the message.
Choosing a time-consuming or ineffective channel of communication could delay the
entire communication process.
Negative organizational climate is an environmental factor that can greatly hinder
effective communication within organizations. For example, when the management
constantly demonstrates a negative attitude towards proposals made by employees,
this attitude could discourage the employees from sharing information that
could improve the organization's performance.
Space is an important environmental
factor that affects communication particularly in the case of oral
communication. The distance between a sender and receiver can either be
intimate, personal, official or public. When communicating with a co-worker it
is important to respect their personal space and maintain an official distance
of four to five feet. When space is not put into consideration, it often acts
as a communication barrier. Violating a
co-worker's personal space could result in an awkward and extremely embarrassing