Sunday, January 29, 2017

Removing Communication Barriers at the Workplace

A number of managers attribute "communication gap" as one of the main reasons for their wrong decisions. In fact, wrongly interpreted or misunderstood messages and information can wreck a havoc in workplace relationships also. Though unintentional factors may contribute to such wrong interpretations or misunderstandings, the individuals involved may have to undertake time-consuming damage control exercises once the damage is done. 

But what can be the barriers that may hamper effective communication? The main barrier for effective communications is not using the right gestures, tone, symbols and words. Of course, the communicator should also take into account the capabilities of the receiver in comprehending the information or the message. Let us now look at some of the ways to remove communication barriers.

Use simple language

Use simple words for communicating your message because not everyone will understand complex language. Point-wise presentation of the message will help in communicating clearly. Long letters, verbose messages and cluttered presentations may make the information incomprehensible. Similarly, avoid adding points that are irrelevant as well. 

The language you use should go well with the audience to whom you are sending out your message. In other words, the language you use should suit their levels of comprehension. 

Avoid information overload

Many people have a notion that they can convey a message with clarity only if they provide lots of information. This is wrong because the receiver will not even look at the message if there is information overload in it. Not only that, experts have found that the level of understanding will come down if the reader has to devote more time for reading a letter. Similarly, if the reader is expected to come out with more number of responses or actions, it will create a confusion over the priorities of responses or actions also.

Take into account the priorities of the receivers

Every manager or executive attaches a lot of value to his time. Likewise, he will have his own priorities as well. This means he will give preference to his tasks and priorities rather on the information or messages he receives from others. Even if the messages are marked as top priority or urgent, the receiving manager may not read them thoroughly because his priorities are different and he thinks that his time is highly valuable. 

Consider the emotions of the receivers

Experts categorically opine that emotions can cause huge craters in communications. For example, threatening words may cause emotions like fear, resentment, anxiety or anger in the receivers. These emotions may force them to behave unpredictably. There are chances of relationships going soar. Use of such words may result in legal issues also. 

Therefore, you should keep your emotions in check while communicating with others in your workplace. Even if you are not pleased with the work or performance of others, you must use subtle ways to communicate your mind.

Don't have pre-conceived notions

When you send a message and expect responses from the receivers, it is better not to have pre-conceived notions. Similarly, when you expect a message or request from others, don't pre-determine your response without knowing fully well about the content of the message or request. This will make the senders "communication shy." Once people around you become "communication shy," you cannot get their opinions or suggestions. This may hamper the decision-making process in your organization.

To summarize, if you understand these communication barriers and remove them as quickly as possible, you can create a conducive ambiance in your workplace.

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