Are Communication Barriers Holding You Back?
Barriers interrupt the flow of communication from the sender to the receiver – making communication ineffective.
As it turns out, effective communication can be surprisingly fickle. It’s also a highly underestimated business tool. Done right, communication can make you seem authoritative and professional; done wrong, you risk seeming unreliable, insecure or impersonal.
Good communication practices have always been important in the workplace, not just for maintaining the ease at which messages may flow, but for bolstering productivity as well. When a message is misinterpreted or not sent across effectively, it results in misunderstandings, causing miscommunication to become a time consuming predicament.
Here, we list four communication barriers and how we can effectively overcome them:
The sin of omission – Let’s face it. When we don’t tell the whole truth and miss out on providing full, concrete information about anything, it ultimately results in miscommunication, with one party not fully understanding what the other wants. Scrimping on information, not giving full details and holding back information are fool-proof methods to welcoming communication breakdowns and a myriad of misunderstandings in the workplace. Never leave a colleague or client in the lurch by leaving out important bits of information in your email, text message or even when communicating face-to-face. Always remember to be detailed.
Beating around the bush – Speaking your mind is one of the simplest rules of communication and also one of the most difficult to enact. Most of the time, being direct becomes cumbersome due to the complexity of language – in this case, the English language, where we often find ourselves using euphemisms and innuendos. Being direct is of utmost importance in any profession. But of course, being direct in this context does include dishing out severities to one another! It also means being tactful with what you say.
Inattention – Listening is an important part of communication. At times, we may only hear, instead of listen. As PR professionals, we have to listen carefully to our clients’ key messaging, and at the same time, pay attention to what is required by the media. Failure to do so can result in misrepresentation and in some cases; it may not be possible to reverse the damage. Always look out for thoughts: major ideas, details, and their meanings. Try to seek a broader understanding of what someone is trying to communicate, rather than the individual’s words or terms they use to express themselves.
“It goes without saying” – Doesn’t this sound familiar? Most times, we love to say, “It goes without saying” which implies that the other party knows what we want or what we’re thinking. The truth is, they don’t. Sometimes when we deal with clients, we adopt a similar mentality, thinking that we either know everything the client wants or that they completely understand what we do. So, learn to be open and express what’s on your mind.
Communication is not always easy and often takes a lot of determination. But making an effort to remove the obstacles – tangible and intangible – can be the key to building relationships that really work.
By Danielle Rajaratnam, PR Associate at Corporate Media Services
This week’s PR News highlights:
Need to revamp existing marketing plans for your business? Jeff Bullas identifies 10 steps to a successful social media marketing strategy.
Mike Duerksen lists out a 18-point checklist for proofreaders and writing professionals on PR Daily.
Check out 7 simple ways to track how well-liked your brand is on Facebook, as explained by Dave Kerpen.