Open Communication Leads to Success in the Workplace
Every business owner knows that effective communication is essential in the workplace, but we all know that most companies struggle with smooth communication flow. However, instead of writing about the most effective communication skills, we want to focus on the potential barriers. It is crucial to identify your mistakes first to be able to make changes accordingly and eventually reach your desired performance. Therefore this blog post outlines the nine most common barriers that effect communication.
Barriers to Effective Communication
- Not listening: Poor listening skills are one of the most common barriers to effective communication. Not listening to someone can have several reasons. It could be that you are not involved in the topic and therefore don’t care. You might also have a different opinion than your partner or you are distracted by for example noise in the office.
- Assumptions: Assumptions are often made to speed up a process or to make a quick decision. However, by making assumptions you will most likely miss out on important information.
- Body Language: Negative body language like crossing your arms, waving your hands or shaking your head will send negative messages.
- Ineffective Questions: The best thing you can do when asking questions is to first summarize what has been communicated and then ask for clarification. Asking the “who, what, where, when and how” questions will lead to effective communication and prevent miscommunication in the workplace.
- Emotional Distractions: You might be emotionally distracted at times due to illness or problems with family or friends. Other people might interpret that behavior as you being annoyed or angry. So even if you’re not feeling well for some reason, try to not take it out on your colleagues.
- Physical Barriers: Physical barriers very often prevent you from communicating with someone. Think of for example weather conditions, mobile reception or traffic.
- Perception: Always keep in mind to be open to new ideas and approaches from other people. Everyone thinks differently and that’s ok!
- Cultural: All cultures have different customs and values and they often clash, which might result in negative communication flows.
- Language: Different languages spoken at work can also lead to misunderstandings.
Do you recognize any of the above barriers in yourself or your company? Do not just ignore them, change them - it will not only benefit you, but also your team and the success of your company!