FEB 16 2020

THE COMMUNICATION GAP

Aafreen Mody

TAGS : communication, communication gap, Compartmentalising, functioning of an organisation, effective communication

THE COMMUNICATION GAP

.As of today, companies keep growing and globalization ensues, each company has a plethora of
people working to achieve a common objective or a common goal. Communication gaps are
ingrained in most multi-national companies and even within smaller firms and different
organizations in and around Bangalore, which is now booming like the IT hub. The main reason for
the same being, folks from all over the world come together and work hand-in-hand with one
another. Communication is a vital part of the success of an organization and the functioning of any
company. It is also very important to maintain healthy relations amongst the employees as they play
a very vital role in the organization with respect to its functioning, success as well as growth.
Miscommunication can lead to disasters. For example, a couple of years back Toyota had called for a
recall of its cars; the reason being faulty brakes. Consumer forums were full of complaints and
Toyota was forced to take action. Although the matter was contained within the organization itself
and resolved eventually, there was no one to take the responsibility or rather we would say the
blame for the incident. This affected the image of the company in the minds of the consumers as
well as other competitive automobile organizations.
Few may find it hard to believe, but the most effective ways of passing information from the very
top to the bottom in the chain of authority, management and employees within a large organization
happens with the help of a key element which every human by default is very good at gossips.
Gossips spread faster than wildfires and they are inherently difficult to contain; owing to their
nature. Gossips also cause communication barriers in large companies as people form a pre-
assumption about something or someone before a piece of official information or statement is
passed by higher authorities.
Since a lot of people from different backgrounds work at a commonplace, culture and language
mismatch can lead to miscommunication in organizations, which affects not only the efficiency of
the organization but also its relationship with other organizations. Folks from all around the world
have different accents that are formed because of their respective backgrounds. In India alone, there
are about 19,500+ dialects and each of them has an accent that differs from one another in some or
the other way. This somehow manages to percolate into foreign languages like English. Accents can
sometimes make or break a conversation. The information to be passed from person ‘A’ to person
‘B’ becomes indistinct, which results in the failure of an effective conversation thereby leading to a
communication gap between the two.
For communication to be effective, the bare minimum requirement is that the person on the
receiving end shows some interest in listening to what the speaker has to say as the information
could be very important from the organizational point of view, or could be important on a personal
level or rather simply just to respect an individual when they are trying to communicate. A live
example of this can be in schools, where the teacher keeps lecturing students for almost 40 minutes
non-stop and most of the delivered information goes over the head due to lack of interest,
concentration, motivation or other external factors such as loud noise, etc. Something of a similar
nature takes place in almost all work environments around the globe. No matter how interesting the
matter is, a perfect communication status is hard to achieve due to n number of factors that it
depends upon as each situation for a perfect communication will differ from time to time and from
one organization to another across the world.

Interpretation of information is also a crucial part of good communication and is often taken very
frivolously. This can be depicted very easily with a simple example that has happened in almost all
schools for years together. For example, in a poem, the writer mentions ‘the curtains are blue’. The
writer may have written that line just to rhyme it with something more significant later on, but the
English professor will always try to find some deeper meaning to that and try and explain it to the
students which in most cases could be the actual reference but we cannot assure the same. Similar
things happen in an organization where the people misinterpret information or try to assume some
meaning within their minds without actually going back to the source of the information and getting
the message clarified or corrected. This further leads to a chain reaction of miscommunications that
hamper the performance of a company negatively. Physical properties such as speech difficulties,
hearing problems, emotional barriers, cultural differences also cause communication gaps.
Major organizations spend a lot of money and resources to try and minimize some of the above-
mentioned communication gaps. The effectiveness of an organization truly depends upon the
willingness of the employees to follow the company guidelines and work accordingly. Most
organizations have a Human Resource (HR) team that takes care of all the needs and wants of the
employees to keep them satisfied and motivated to work in order to uplift the organization.
Some ways to prevent miscommunication in organizations are
• A common language should be used:
As mentioned earlier this is the basics of communication. If the receiver does not understand what
the speaker is saying, the whole purpose of that particular communication is lost. A common
language should be used to reduce discrepancies with respect to the instructions or information
being passed.

• Compartmentalising:
A communication generally starts with the speaker giving out information regarding a particular
subject. The way information is delivered or perceived can be affected by the current mental state of
the conversationalists, which may hinder the effectiveness of communication. For example, if
someone is stressed, they may be preoccupied with personal concerns and not as receptive to the
message as if they were not stressed. Compartmentalising is important for an individual so that
multiple tasks don’t get affected by one another.
The above-mentioned points are a great start to minimizing communication barriers and to boost
the efficiency of an organization as well as maintain healthy relationships amongst the employees of
the organization.

RELATED STORIES