Filtering Is a Barrier to Effective Communication

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Filtering Is a Barrier to Effective Communication

Multiple barriers exist in the communication process. The intended Message will frequently be disrupted and misinterpreted, resulting in misunderstanding and communication failure.

1. What Is a Filter In Communication?

A filter is something that might remove, distort, or generalize the Message we’re trying to communicate. In every conversation, filters are in place for both the sender and the receiver. When we don’t follow that procedure, it can appear as if we aren’t getting the message. It is often seen in many work settings that there are a number of levels in any organization. Messages travel from one level to another via intermediaries. This leads to alteration of the actual Message; this phenomenon is a filtering process.

Filtering is a barrier to effective communication that occurs when the person receiving the communication selectively hears or sees certain parts of the Message depending on their own characteristics. In the workplace, filtering can be detrimental to communication, as it can distort the Message and limit its effectiveness. This happens when the person listening to the Message has a distorted idea of the subject matter or of the sender’s intention.

2. What Do We Mean by Barriers in Communication?

A communication barrier is anything that prevents someone from receiving and comprehending signals sent to them to communicate their ideas, thoughts, or any other type of information. The message that someone is trying to deliver is blocked or interfered with by these numerous communication barriers. There are several obstacles that can obstruct good communication. It happens because the sender’s Message may not be understood exactly as it is intended. During the communication exchange, it may become distorted.

Several workplace communication hurdles tend to tamper with the Message sent from sender to receiver. It causes a schism among the members of the organization. One of the major challenges in the organization, according to managers, is a lack of communication. Communication problems, on the other hand, are frequently symptoms of underlying disorders. A badly constructed organizational structure, for example, may fail to express organizational goals. Managers may be unsure of what is expected of them if performance benchmarks are not accurate. A responsible manager, on the other hand, will look for the causes of communication barriers rather than just treating the symptoms. Communication barriers can be found in the sender, the transmission of communications, the recipient, or the feedback.

3. Types of Barriers in a Communication Process

A professional communicator must be aware of the various types of impediments to effective communication and work to overcome them. Active listening, reflection, and other techniques can help overcome these hurdles to effective communication. The communicator must seek feedback from the information receiver to see if the message was received correctly. Some of the most prevalent hurdles to effective communication are listed below:


If one employs unfamiliar jargon or overly intricate technical terms, it may be difficult to comprehend.

Lack of Attention or Interest

If the message is irrelevant to the receiver, or if there are distractions (such as other people speaking at the same time), the Message may not be successfully transmitted.

Differences in Perception

If two people see things differently, their perspectives may interfere with effectively understanding the Message.

Physical Disabilities

Communication will be ineffective if the receiver has hearing problems or the speaker has speaking difficulties. The Message will be distorted as a result

Emotional Barriers

Touchy subjects make it harder for the speaker or receiver to fully participate in the communication process. It’s also possible that some people are uncomfortable expressing themselves, so their words don’t accurately reflect what they’re trying to say. Politics, religion, mental or physical disability, racism, sexuality, and any other controversial options may be taboo or off-limits for some people. 

The Difference in Culture

Different cultures have different norms for social relationships. The concept of space, for example, exists in some cultures and social circumstances but not in others. These cultural differences may make it difficult to communicate effectively.


 Different dialects from different locations, as well as new accents, might make it difficult to grasp the Message delivered. 


Most individuals have preconceived beliefs about a wide range of topics; as a result, they only hear what they want to hear, rather than what is being stated. These erroneous assumptions and stereotyping create communication barriers.

4. How Is Filtering a Barrier to Communication?

Filtering can often change the original Message, reduce its effectiveness, or make it unintelligible. This can happen as a result of a misinterpretation of the topic or the sender’s intent.

Messages are often misinterpreted when the Message is filtered through a gatekeeper, who withholds crucial information. For example, if a CEO is told that sales have decreased, he or she may react poorly, as the Message has been filtered by someone else. This process of ‘filtering’ occurs when the receiver transforms the Message into their own words and constructs their own interpretation of what was said.

In business, filtering can be detrimental to communication and can lead to poor performance, misunderstandings, and low employee morale. It is common for people to modify or alter information because of their own personal attributes, such as gender or status differences. This can make the Message incomprehensible. Even when the Message is a direct reflection of the sender’s intentions, it can be misinterpreted as a reflection of their own biases. In many cases, a message will be filtered by the person who is delivering it. This may be a person’s job title or educational background, but the Message will likely still be filtered.

When a message passes through a chain of people, it is often filtered. Depending on the circumstances, a person’s perception of a message may be distorted or incorrect. As a result, it may appear that the Message was not fully understood. Moreover, it could be completely filtered and interpreted in a different way by the recipient. This is an example of the problem of filtering.

5. How to Avoid Filtering Acting As a Barrier In Communication?

Filtering is a common barrier to effective communication, and it takes place when we interpret what we hear or see in a message based on our own personal experiences and backgrounds. When we don’t recognize this tendency in ourselves, we can miss out on valuable information. Therefore, it’s important to learn to avoid this behavior. If you can change your filtering patterns, you can improve your communications and improve your business.

1. It can depend on an individual’s personality type. The person who is delivering your Message can be culturally or ethnically different, and there are chances they can misinterpret your Message. Despite this, it’s very likely that the person who is listening to the Message will be unable to perceive the Message. So, you can always go directly to give your Message or can choose a person who understands it correctly from your viewpoint.

2. During upward communication, we tend to filter negative information. This is not always the case, but it can be avoided by rewarding clear communications. And, if you’re in a position to judge the truth of a message, you’ll be better able to judge whether it’s worth hearing or not. Always be honest and do not hide information because it can later show you as a dishonest person in your work environment.

3. Never have a biased opinion while communicating. You should have an accommodating approach towards ideas different than yours. When people read and hear messages, they often interpret them in a way that is not completely accurate. Moreover, they tend to be biased, and this can cause a range of problems. Those who don’t understand the true meaning of a message may feel confused, and they may even become angry. A message can be misinterpreted by both sides, and a person will have a difficult time understanding it.

6. How Overcome Barriers to Effective Communication?

Before Communicating, Be Sure Your Ideas Are Clear

 The person sending the message should have a clear picture of what he wants to convey in his mind. He should be aware of the Message’s goal and, as a result, organize his thoughts in a systematic manner.

The Sender Should Communicate in Accordance with the Needs of the Receiver

 The sender should arrange the communication not according to his own degree of skill but rather according to the receiver’s level, understanding, and environment.

Before Communicating, Get Advice from Others

 Suggestions from all parties involved should be sought during the communication planning process. Its key advantage is that all individuals involved in communication planning will contribute to the communication system’s success.

Be Aware of the Message’s Tone, Content, and Language

The sender should keep in mind that the Message should be delivered in a clear, accurate, and easy-to-understand manner. The recipient’s feelings should not be wounded by the Message’s tone. As a result, strive to keep the Message’s substance succinct and avoid using technical terms.

Deliver Information That Is Beneficial To The Listener

The Message’s substance should be useful and valuable to the recipient. Before communicating, keep the receiver’s needs and interests in mind. In such circumstances, communication becomes more effective.

Ensure That You Receive Appropriate Feedback

 The goal of receiving feedback is to determine whether the receiver comprehended the Message correctly. While

The Message Must Be Consistent

 There should be no inconsistencies in the Message conveyed to the recipient. The information transferred should be in line with the organization’s goals, plans, policies, and practices. When a new communication is sent in place of an older one, the sender should always indicate it to avoid confusion.

Communication Follow-Up

To make communication more successful, the management should try to figure out where the system’s flaws are. In this situation, an effort should be made to determine whether formal or informal communication should be prioritized.

Being a Good Listener Is Essential

 In the communication process, both the sender and the receiver must be good listeners. With patience, attentiveness, and a willingness to learn, both parties should be able to understand each other’s points of view.

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