Know Every Essential of Communication Breakdown in Just 5 Minutes

Introduction to Communication Breakdown

Effective listening can also be hampered by language difference hence create communication breakdown. 40% of the time this is the prime cause of communication breakdown.

What is Communication?

Communication is a process of receiving and delivering information done in several ways in the verbal and nonverbal mode via communication, parties involved in communication exchange or transmit ideas, information etc. So communication has three different components-

  • Sender
  • Receiver(s)
  • Information
what is communication
what is communication

Communication Process

Richard and Schmidt model(1983):-

Richard and Schmidt identified characteristics of proper communication as follows-

  1. Communication is a form of interaction thus it is acquired and used in social interaction.
  2. Communication involves a high degree of unpredictability and creativeness to form a message.
  3. Communication process needs discourage and sociocultural context to deliver proper message.
  4. Communication process needs limited psychological and other limiting conditions like a- distraction, fatigue, and memory constraints.
  5. Communication should have a purpose.
  6. Communication involves the authentic transmission of information.
  7. Communication is judged based on the outcome if it is successful or unsuccessful.

Hyme’s(1972) Model:-

As per Hyme, communication is greatly dependent on one’s communicative competence. Communicative competence involves knowledge of the language ( grammar, syntax, phonological and context ).

This theory is based on ethnography communications. Communicative competence is the ability to understand and use the language in an effective way in a realtime environment.

Communication competence depends on 4 basic features-

  1. Linguistic
  2. Strategic
  3. Socio-linguistic
  4. Discourse.
communication model
communication model

This model is proposed by Canale and Swin’s communicative competence model(1980).

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This refers to the understand and use of the language. Different components are:-

  1. Vocabulary
  2. Language conversion(Grammer, spelling and punctuation).
  3. Syntax.
communication breakdown occurs
communication breakdown occurs

Strategic refers to the techniques to use the language. The components are:-

  1. Overcome the language gaps.
  2. Judge and access the effectiveness of communication
  3. Achieve conversational fluency
  4. Ability to modify for the target audience and context.

Discourse is the process to connect the dots of the language. The components are-

  1. Organizational pattern
  2. Cohesive and transactional devices.

This is not related to language directly. It involves mostly the socio behaviour of the target audience, like-

  1. Social rule during the conversation (Formality, politeness, directness).
  2. Nonverbal behaviour
  3. Cultural influence.

Lunenburg model(2010):

As per Lunenburg, effective communication is an effort and skills exhibition of both parties (Sender and Receiver). They must be on the same level of understanding for successful and smooth communication.

how communication breakdown occurs

When we talk about communication in our day to day life it consists of 90% of the words. Rest 10% is the expression what we give along with the word.

Most of the time, even if people say words, there are misunderstandings. There is misleading information. There are dual meaning. There is a communication breakdown. It occurs!!!

Jones(1999) suggested that both communication skills and miscommunication occur when a group is involved. Failure to understand the meaning in communication is referred to as communicational breakdown.

Avval(2011) actual pinpointed the root cause of the communicational breakdown. As per Avval, communication breakdown is a person’s inability to receive information (most due to non-familiar on non-colloquial language).

As per Verma(2013) communication breakdown is a pragmatic problem where the message is not transmitted exactly as the same that is there in the speaker’s mind. The decoder used by the sender is not the same, the encoder used by the receiver.

communication breakdown occurs
communication breakdown occurs

The main roadblocks are-

Differences in perspective:-

Differences in perspective can lead to loss of symbols, distortion of symbols, and create a new symbol. That is not at all desirable.

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Differences in knowledge level:

Differences in knowledge level can lead to loss of symbols, distortion of symbols, and create a new symbol. That is not at all desirable.

Lack of Common Language:

Lack of common Language causes some or full loss of symbols. This way create some new symbols which are not desirable at all. When a Hindi speaking people visit Chennai village..:)

Stereotype and jump to the conclusion:

Every individual is unique in any respect. But it is common to the human being is to be stereotype and to jump into the conclusion which is again not desirable to the society.

Strong Emotions:

Strong emotions also affect the verbal and non-verbals that reflect our strong emotions may contradict them. However, at that time, we might get downright words. Emotion is called a liqueur, blessed are those who can enjoy them without forgetting their limit of self-control.


Self-centredness if crosses a reasonable limit may blur our eyes through vision. A communication fails due to extreme self-centeredness.

When we have problems with friends most of the time this factor takes a major role. Explosive anger is another form of self-centredness and can lead to a serious communication breakdown.

communication breakdown occurs
communication breakdown occurs

Plain Laziness:

Being communicator as well as being a communicate is equally hard work. We tend to allow all sorts of distracters while reading and while listening to others. That’s why we cannot reconstruct the message or reconstruct very badly.

Blame game or Stubbornness : 

People not willing to admit their fault rather try to blame others. Well, most of the time corporates suffer such kind of communication breakdown.

Even fewer flexibilities and compromises can influence such a breakdown. Even harsh word could influence communication breakdown.

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How many times do we give a wrong status update to our manager/management /client? will most of us agree on this fact? Quantity and demand really do not match according to the reality but for recording purpose, we give the coloured value and try to spend time to cover that gap. At present this will give you better clapping or comfort but later part of time everybody will be suffered.

communication breakdown occurs
communication breakdown occurs

Information Hiding and Overload: 

The more we grow up in the ladder the more responsibility we get. With great responsibility, we will get more information from the various corner.

Now it is extremely important to hide some information and to deliver some. Being a senior in the team one must understand what information we must pass and whatnot.

A wrong communication may create unnecessary tension among the team member and can influence the communication breakdown inside the team.

Communication Style:

Most of us will surely agree that one’s communication style also contribute to communication breakdown. Say some people said the meeting is at 9 AM. For someone it is 9:15 AM and for someone 8:55 AM.

Yes, I am talking about one burning issue. The same problem happens with “I will do by EOD”. For someone, it extends till next day!!!.
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