What Are Perceptual Barriers of Communication?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 7, 2020 8:22:00 AM ET

Perceptual barriers of communication are internal barriers that occur within a person's mind when the person believes or perceives that the other person that they are going to speak with will not understand or be interested in what they have to say. Perpetual barriers often cause communication problems because the language employed by the person with the perceptual barrier is often sarcastic, dismissive or obtuse so the conversational partner is not going to understand what the person is saying to them fully and the person is not going to communicate anything of substance with the conversational partner.

An example of perceptual barriers can be seen in films when a person starts to yell clipped phrases at a person that they believe is deaf. However, when that person turns out to not be deaf, the person who was yelling not only looks ridiculous, but realizes that he or she was not able to actually communicate anything of substance. This is a bias that gets in the way of true effective communication.

In business as in life, there are several kinds of barriers of communication including perceptual barriers, physical barriers, emotional barriers, cultural barriers, language barriers, gender barriers and interpersonal barriers. Communication must be a two-way street with both parties being open and being ready to listen to one another.