Physical noise
Psychological noiseExamples
What can you do to reduce psychological noise?

Semantic noiseWhat can we do about semantic noise?

Next steps

Noise hinders communication. It is so obvious, I hesitate to mention it. It is something that is often overlooked when we plan communication activities with stakeholders.
In communication terms, noise is any interference that makes it difficult for the stakeholder first to receive and then interpret the message. Communication noise can have a profound effect on how we perceive our communications. We can believe we are doing better than we are.
Communication management is crucial for project success. We need people to be able to understand what we’re talking about and then take the appropriate action to engage their teams or complete a task. Your project could be at risk if your message isn’t understood.
There are three types of noise in communication. The first is easy to recognize.
Physical noise
It is easy to understand physical noise, such as traffic, noisy rooms, and other conversations. If you have ever had a conversation while driving, you will know that background noise can make it difficult to understand and comprehend what they are saying.
Let’s take this one for granted, and let’s look at two other types noises that we should be aware of when communicating at work.
Psychological noise
Semantic noise.

Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
Psychological noise
What is psychological noise?
Psychological noise refers to the way we bring preconceived ideas into conversations, such as stereotypes and reputations.
Psychological noise is when we have our biases before receiving information. That’s normal. Everyone does.
Human beings are not robots. It is impossible to send, receive, and process only factual information. Psychological noise is inevitable.
Examples of psychological noise
Here are some examples:
Someone says, “I have a new project for You.” And you worry about whether it will be completed this week and how you will fit it into your schedule.
Someone says, “Here are some data I have gathered.” You dismiss their research because your past experience has shown that they are unreliable. So you stop listening.

Psychological noise at work could also include being distracted by chat messages during meetings, thinking about other topics while in conversation with other people, letting your mind wander while on a webinar, worrying over house and family matters while at work, and many more.
What can you do to reduce psychological noise?
Our brains can quickly go into automatic mode, resulting in unconscious bias, whether we are sending or receiving communications. Next time you see a well-known politician, try to identify what your feelings are about them.
Communicators need to recognize that this is happening. Noise in communication is inevitable because everyone brings their past and current experiences to the information we hear and see. What can we do to reduce this unconscious bias, psychological noise?
We can be mindful. You may have heard of mindfulness. It’s about being fully present in the moment, being aware of the context and your emotional state.
Communicators need to be aware of the different perspectives others may have on a situation. Listening is an important part of communicating.
Next: 20 books about communication in the workplace
Semantic noise
What is semantic noise?
Semantic noise is when grammar or technical language are used in a way that the receiver does not understand or can understand.