3 Business Communication Barriers and How to Fix Them

Great Wall of China, Mutianyu Section

Photo credit: Francisco Diez

Effective communication within an organization is the key to keeping the company vibrant and successful. After all, it’s tough for a company to run smoothly if internal memos are incomprehensible, bosses don’t tell employees about upcoming projects, and one department has no clue what another department is doing.

The business communication page of Wikipedia delves into three communication barriers and offers ways to fix them.


The Complexity Barrier

Messages that are complex or stuffed with jargon and technical terms create a barrier by encouraging people to tune them out. Confused looks or blank stares are dead giveaways for this one.

Fix it by keeping your messages as clear, concise, and to-the-point as possible in a language everyone can understand. It’s also important to match the delivery of information with its type.

The Withheld Information Barrier

Colleagues can typically tell when you’re not telling the truth, or even when you’re not telling the whole truth. Although some company information may need to remain confidential for security reasons, withholding other information for random reasons can lead to confusion and mistrust.

Fix it by making all pertinent information readily accessible, available and forthcoming.

The Lack of Trust Barrier

Competition among employees can lead to lack of communication which, in turn, can result in lack of trust among those same employees. It’s tough for people to trust a colleague when they may think that colleague knows something they don’t or is up to something behind their backs.

Fix it by increasing interaction and communication among departments and all levels of employees. Share information at company meetings, be honest and open, and encourage everyone to participate in or offer feedback on decisions.

The more you encourage and practice communicating within the company, the more effective the communication will become. Although you may still get blank looks every now and then, you’ll turn those looks of confusion into those of comprehension when you’re aware of the barriers standing in your way and how to fix them.

What other barriers can block effective internal communication?