Barrier means all those hurdles which stop or interrupt the process of communication. Barrier sometimes becomes so strong that they can even make the whole process just a failure.
Hurdles of Communication:
Physical barrier is a problem in the way of transmitting a message from its source to destination. You sent a letter to your friend but he didn’t get it, this is a physical barrier; there is a speech of President on TV but you can’t listen it properly due to some problem in the transmission (channel noise), also a physical hurdle. If a student closes a door with noise during lecture then it would also be a physical hurdle.
Transmitting a message from one person to another is a tough job because there is a possibility of misunderstanding. There is very little chance that the reader will understand exactly the same what the writer means.
Reality is too difficult to be described by words. Denial Katz expresses that the real world is more complex, more colourful, more multi dimensional than the pale words or over simplified signs to convey meaning. There are two types of hurdles of communication:
1. Physical hurdles
2. Psychological hurdles.
Physical hurdles are a problem in -the way of transmitting a message from its source to destination. You sent a letter to your friend but he did not get it, this is a physical problem ; there is a speech of the president on PTV but you cannot listen it clearly due to some problem in the transmission, we could term this as channel noise.
If somebody closes the door with noise during the course of listening to TV it may also be called a physical hurdle.
When someone speaks slowly and you cannot understand, you are talking to a friend on telephone and there is a noise of horn which can destroy the meaning of the message. All these troubles are in other words called channel noise.
How to overcome channel noise?
The professional communication can overcome channel noise by applying redundancy techniques, i.e. repetition of the main idea of the message. The purpose of this technique is to make sure that the part of the message lost during interruption is communicated again.
Psychological hurdles are the kind of hurdles in which the destination receives the message clearly but reacts to the message. This is a great hurdle in the process of communication. Following are the various psychological hurdles.
Different Psychological Hurdles
Ø Semantic Noise
Ø Field of Experience
Ø Cognitive Dissonance
Ø Frame of Reference
Ø Poor Understanding
Ø Change in Custom & Tradition
i. Semantic Noise
This kind of hurdle is the result of using very difficult, jaw breaking and tongue twisting words by the communicator, which are outside the frame of references of audience. Semantic noise can be reduced, if the communicator defines such term and adjusts vocabulary for the interest of the audience.
This psychological hurdle occurs when the field of experience is not common to both i.e. communicator and receiver; the communication would not take place. For example, if a scientist wants to communicate the Newton law to the uneducated people, definitely, there won’t be any communication. But if the same message is delivered to the science students, the message will be an effective one. Thus field of experience becomes one of the great hurdles if it is not common to both source and destination.
Cognitive dissonance is also one of the hurdles in the process of communication. By cognitive dissonance, we mean that when a communicator wants to deliver a message to the audience that smoking is injurious to health. The audience does not accept this proposal, giving arguments that they are smoking since very young age and despite they are quite healthy. This is called cognitive dissonance.
This is yet another hurdle in the process of communication. By frame of reference, we mean that the communicator looks at a thing with his own perception and define it in his/her own words. For example, a communicator looks at the following graph with his own perception; that it is a map, while the different receivers may conceive it as flower, disturb line, leaf, etc.
The community or the intended destination poor in understanding becomes a great obstacle in the way of communication.
Sometimes the expression of the communicator becomes a hurdle in the process of communication if it is not in accordance with the situation.
vii. Change in custom and tradition
If the communicator wants to talk about some change in th^ custom a*nd tradition, definitely his communication will be a failure For example :- If a communicator wants to introduce Buddhism in the Pakistani society, his ideas may not be accepted by everybody because Pakistan is predominantly a Muslim country.