5 Major Barriers to Communication
Good words worth much, and cost little. The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.
To connect, we must communicate well.
“Communication must be HOT. That’s Honest, Open, and Two-Way.” In today’s world, we might be blinded by several distractions that hinders us to convey our message effectively. Also, as we age, the importance of good communication is constantly highlighted.
Here are five major barriers to communication:
1. Choice of medium
We are surrounded by technology in the generation where most of our interactions are in the form of digital conversations, and this consumes most part of our lives.
Are you guilty of being fixated on your phone even during gatherings or lunch breaks? We use instant messaging at home, on the way to work, at our workplace and basically, almost everywhere. It may be even so when the person is just sitting next to us. To most of us, we are extremely dependent on our phones and other gadgets everyday.
But are we communicating better with this medium? We may have more reach to each other with greater convenience, but hold up and think again.
It may not necessarily be better. The choice of digital conversations may be a factor of communication barrier.
For instance, your style of messaging may unintentionally demonstrate a monotonous or uncouth tone that would cause misunderstandings.
A misunderstanding tone you give to others or an un-replied text may leave others hanging or confused. They may feel anxious, worried, misunderstood and sometimes, exhausted.
Comparing to real life interactions, digital conversations are not able to read facial expressions, read body language and tone, which is extremely crucial in a healthy conversation.
Ever seen how a salesperson of a luxury brand ignores the customer who may seemingly look too young or not well dressed? This pre-assumption that some customers will not be purchasing the product is very common in the luxury retail industry. And this cost him/her to be not able to close a potential sale.
This is the same for most situations where one has a pre-conceived idea about the other based on their first impression of them.
These pre-conceived ideas about someone might hinder communication. Because of this, one may not be interested to even start a conversation in the right tone with the other party.
You often worry about how people see you as. You are afraid of judgement.
“What do they think of me? Am I being too straightforward, harsh or too proud? What kind of person did I portray myself as?”
Being too concerned about how people perceive you may possibly hinder you from having a good conversation. You get too worried and conscious that you would naturally filter most of the content you want to put through. What you talk about may not be your authentic viewpoint anymore. It’ll be a “politically-correct” answer, which means the ideal answer that society expects.
The conversation becomes fake and superficial. Moreover, a conversation that deters you from expressing yourself is one that you will not enjoy.
4. Lack of Time
Our lives are getting more and more fast paced and hectic. When we are constantly running against time, we often forget or cut short what we want to say.
With that limited time, we are unable to effectively marinate what we want to say.
Not being able to completely lay out what you wanted to put through may hinder communication because of the incomplete information that may not be comprehensive to others. There won’t be mutual understandings in the conversation if the other party is having a hard time processing what you actually meant with the short conversation.
5. Lack of Trust
When you don’t trust a person, be it because you just met him/her or out of impressions or own perception, you would not be totally transparent and raw about the content that you talk about. You may be negative or defensive about it because of the lack of trust of the person.
At the other side of the conversation, the other party may not enjoy the conversation because of the barrier you have created.