• Inconsistent non-verbal signals

Inappropriate use of non-verbal signals can lead to communication failure e.g. gestures which are not consistent with the message being passed across.

  • Inappropriate languages

Poor choice of words may affect communication effectiveness e.g. use of technical jargons/ specialist terminologies.

  • Prejudgment:

What is understood is often conditioned by what was already known or our background knowledge or experience on the topic. Prejudgment of messages communicated which may be inconsistent with what we know may lead to communication failure.

  • Poor relationship with the speaker /sender of the message.

If the relationship between people is not good communication may fail altogether.

  • Poor systems:

In any organization there should be well-designed procedures for receiving and disseminating messages to others.

Ineffective systems or poor handling of information may affect the way information is disseminated to others. E.g. information received late, not received at all or retained.

  • Emotional responses:

Communication cannot succeed if the person is highly emotional about the topic concerned. If emotions are high on the part of the sender or receiver it would be better to wait for a while before sending a message.

  • Deliberate misinterpretation of information:

This may take the form of deliberate lies. Individuals may misinterpret facts leading to communication failure.

  • Poor planning of messages:

Poorly expressed messages due to poor planning of communication

e.g. lack of clear communication objectives. Lack of support data, grammatical errors, poorly constructed sentences etc may lead to communication failure.

  • Noise:

Noise in the physical environment e.g. loud music or psychological noise (stress, pre-conceptions) may lead to communication failure.

  • Size of the audience:

Communication may fail if the speaker is addressing a sizeable audience without using public address system.

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