Barriers to effective communication

Barriers to effective communication

A barrier is anything that will get in the way of communication. There are a wide range of barriers including:

Attitude – When a worker is abrupt due to time limits, not having enough resources of their mood, the person they are speaking to may feel intimidated or frustrated and not want to communicate

Limited use of technology – When the technological aids known to be the best way for someone to communicate are not available

Body positioning – Sitting too close could be intimidating and would make an individual feel uncomfortable. Sitting too far away could show lack of interest or concern.

Emotions – When someone is depressed, angry or upset their emotions may affect their ability to think and communicate in a sensible way.

Physical – When someone has physical conditions that create communication difficulties, for example, being breathless, not having any teeth or being in pain.

Not enough time – Not giving individuals time to say what they want to may make them feel rushed and reluctant to express their true wishes.

Poor or negative body language – Crossed arms or legs, poor facial expressions, poor body positioning, constant fidgeting or looking at a watch or mobile phone can all make someone less likely to communicate.

Lack of privacy – Think carefully about where and when private and confidential conversations should take place.

Stereotyping – Generalisations about a group of people that are wrong misleading. An example would be that ‘all older people are hard of hearing’.

Other barriers could include sensory impairments, culture, language, noise, lighting or substance misuse.

Use to answer question 6.3a of the Care Certificate

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