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Communication Barriers

37 Examples of Communication Noise

Communication noise is anything that disrupts verbal communication such that it becomes less effective at conveying meaning. This can be physical noise such as traffic sounds, physiological noise such as pain, psychological noise such as anger, semantic noise such as the use of obscure slang or cultural noise such as misunderstanding words in a second language. The following are common examples of communication noise.
Complex Vocabulary / Jargon
Cross Cultural Communication
Cross Generational Communication
Divided Attention / Multitasking
Emotional State
Inside Jokes
Language Skills
Misreading People
Obscure Slang
Passive Aggressive Behavior
Physical Distraction (e.g. shaking your legs)
Physical Noise (Sound)
Physical Sickness / Pain
Political Subterfuge
Poor Body Language
Poor Eye Contact
Poor Listening
Poor Manners
Poor Storytelling
Social Distraction
Social Status
Speaking / Listening to a Second Language
Speaking Tempo (e.g. Speaking Too Fast)
State of Mind
Tone / Intonation
Visual Noise
Assumptions such as assuming that everyone in a conversation has the same language background.
Biases are irrational modes of thinking or communicating. For example, acquiescence bias whereby people tend to agree when they don't know or don't care.
Incivility is the breakdown of mutual respect to the extent that parties are completely hostile to each other.
An inside joke is humor that is based on shared experience such that it may exclude someone.
Passive aggressive behavior such as saying insincere things in a sarcastic way.
Social status can produce communication noise. For example, ignoring one person in a conversation because you perceive them to be low status.
Sidelining is the practice of ignoring one person in order to remove their power. Generally speaking, politics tends to create much communication noise.
State of mind such as poor attention or emotional distress.
Wit is the use of humor at high speed in an intelligent way. This is often designed to be hard to catch and makes conversation more noisy. There is arguably a trade-off between the interestingness of a conversation and its effectiveness at conveying information.

Communication Barriers

This is the complete list of articles we have written about communication barriers.
Communication Analysis
Communication Issue
Communication Performance
Communication Problem
Cruel Wit
Message Framing
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