So much to communicate and so less time. No one can understand you, or the majority of people do not know what you say, and after the communication from your side, these same people start opposing your good ideas and thoughts. Many people struggle with expressing their thoughts in a way that can positively impact them. To be more precise, according to Gallup international research, 53% of people cannot communicate their thoughts in a way that these same thoughts can add additional value to the organization. And if that looks scary, wait until you find the number of ideas that stop developing just right after the stage of communication – the percentage here is 68%.

There are different barriers in communication that can make or break it. The more of them the communicator is familiar with, the less resistance the communication will meet. Here I will share with you seven common barriers that cause communication to struggle.


The most common communication barrier is the one connected with the space. Of course, it is always easier to have everyone around you listening and looking at you. However, in many cases, different barriers make it impossible to happen. These may be office locations that offer open space, people working in a different building, facility or location, or even the cubics created in the office to separate people from each other and ensure private space for working. These barriers are caused by a physical element that does not allow people to see each other directly and creates space for distractions in listening to what the communicator has to say.


Language is the most potent weapon we possess. Understanding what the other person wants to say can win or break a relationship. Everyone needs to understand the other side in the dynamic new environment where we live and communicate internationally. So many job ads confirm that. For example, If you search for a customer service representative for the Spanish market, you are probably trying to hire someone who speaks Spanish and not someone whose English is excellent and speaks at the same time German and Chinese. The language barriers are easily seen when two negotiating sides do not express a universal language with the same parameters for both. If everyone focuses on what they may understand with limited knowledge of the language, they may miss critical details and cause a loss of a promising deal or event.


Most people do not see these barriers, but they exist. For example, a psychological barrier is often seen in sales and customer service people while trying to attract the next client. A psychological barrier is also easily seen in people who want to start speaking in a foreign language. No matter the exercises and the lessons are taken, most people feel unsafe when they have to start talking in that foreign language. The feeling of embarrassment comes out while they have learned everything they need on paper and have had support from teachers who practice the language daily. Psychological barriers come from the feeling of failure to create a safe space where mistakes are not to be seen or can be minimized quickly without harming the person’s self-esteem.


“In business, there are no emotions to show” is a mantra widely distributed at the beginning of the 21st century. This same mantra has turned into something different – “People are emotional beings, and showing emotions connects you with the people around you.” While these emotions are part of our unique personality, we cannot just skip them or let them overflow us and others. Despite that, emotions are a barrier to overcome if we want to be heard and accepted by others. Emotions can make or break the things around us. They may turn from something positive and make us look like humans to a negative turnaround point if we do not control them in the situation we have to show them. As a barrier, emotions can be shown in a way that they create uncertainty and discomfort, coupled with stress and sometimes behavioral problems. Controlling emotions is crucial to positioning ourselves as good professionals and trusted allies.


In the modern workplace, we often work with people from different parts of the world. And not so rarely do we get into confusing situations where we have to explain that our behavior has a different meaning than the one seen by other parties involved. Some cultural norms can turn our communication style, presence, and appearance from working for us to working against us. Culture is not always what helps us, but sometimes it can create discrepancies between people, especially if these people come from different countries, industries, and even levels of the development of the companies. That is why the culture, often seen as the glue in the organization, can also be seen as a confronting and distressing factor for building good relationships and sustainable results.


“Great leaders are those whose attitude can make us feel as productive as we can and deliver results in the way we see the delivery process” (Coach Ben Simons). This quote is nothing more than a way to motivate others to achieve the result. But in the depths of the section, there is a truth that comes to help us find the ways to manage one of the crucial elements toward the change happening – our attitude. It is the element that makes us finetune our behavior toward the changes. Experts in different areas of expertise often talk about wrong or the right attitude. The attitude defines our behavior, and the most challenging part of the work of all leaders is to moderate that attitude positively for the change and work. Attitude is the element that defines the level of effort and energy everyone puts into the work environment. Attitude can be seen as an individual barrier or create a discrepancy on the team and organizational level. A leader’s job is to identify appropriate behaviors and work them out to make the right attitude toward changes and activities for success. The wrong attitude is a prerequisite not only for failure but also creates opportunities for conflicts, increases stress, and negatively impacts employees’ personalities and business success.


This term is widely used when leaders want to describe challenging structures and bureaucratic processes that do not add much value to the business. Organizations exist to deliver results. Even the non-profitable and governmental organizations have their purpose for living. Even if, in the beginning, the organization’s structure may have helped achieve goals, the system sometimes turns out to be ineffective. Creating different stoppers of company success may challenge the leaders’ good vibes and intentions. Some processes may become obsolete or toxic for guaranteeing success. The structural barrier is one of the most overseen barriers because people learn to work within the company’s structure and do their best to find workarounds to deliver results. But finding workarounds deepens the organizational barrier effect for the organization and makes processes slower and ineffective.


No matter the intentions of the leadership teams across different organizations, stoppers and barriers appear that may lower or stop organizational development and success. Recognizing obstacles and working toward them can turn a situation from losing to winning.

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