On the surface, communication is a two-way transfer of information. Simple, right? Not really. Communication is extremely difficult. Between us sending of a message and another person receiving it, several factors can enter in and distort, if not destroy, the messages we send and receive.
Our entire interpersonal life is influenced by your ability to communicate.
Some of the common major factors blocking effective communication include:
1- Preoccupation When preoccupied with fears, concerns and simply any other matter taking priority in our life, we tend to fail to actively engage in communicating with others.
Unblocking technique - Remind yourself throughout your conversations or meetings to remain present in the moment and focus at the matter at hand. Regular daily meditation helps train the brain to concentrate and prioritize analysis of information presented to it at any given moment.
2- Emotional blocks
At times, certain words, phrases, or comments are so emotionally charged that they shut down the communication process. On a very personal basis, there may be other words, phrases, and topics that are emotional for individuals that once they're brought up, it's difficult for them to keep on talking with any degree of rationality or keep on listening with any degree of true understanding.
Unblocking technique – Remind yourself to stay calm and stay in control. Don't let the other person's inappropriate remark or your own hypersensitivity steal your peace.
The charisma of the message sender may affect how the message is received. Politics is an illustration in the matter. Quite often, candidates are chosen and elected, not so much for the brilliance of their thought, as the way in which they express it. Have you ever failed to listen to someone who had something important to say, but didn't bother to listen, because that speaker was dull compared to the charismatic speaker? If so, the communication process between you and the other person just came to a screeching halt.
Unblocking technique – Remind yourself that the message itself is as important as the person communicating it.
4- Past experiences
If your weekly staff meetings have almost always been a waste of time, you may enter a meeting expecting to learn nothing. We tend to overuse our past experience to pre-judge the communication that is about to take place as unworthy of our time.
Unblocking technique – Remind yourself your past experiences are to be used as a guide and not a determining factor.
5- Poor communication skills
Since clarity is one of the hallmarks of effective communication, if we have not developed effective verbal skills, our personal and professional life will suffer. Like any skill, verbal skills need constant improving.
Unblocking technique – Take on lessons and situations that help you improve your skills. And remember communication is 7% verbal and 93% non-verbal.
Like any skill, communication skills require to be consistently worked on. Whether as entrepreneurs, professionals or team leaders managing teams, education is key and communication training must be a priority in every organization’s learning and development program.
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