Tips to Overcome Communication Barriers at Work

Tips to overcome communication barrier at work

Effective communication is the key to the success of any organization or business. The buzzword here is “effective.” Organisations currently are much too preoccupied with communication just for its sake, instead of ensuring that the message gets to the appropriate audience strategically and practically. When you can communicate easily with your coworkers, you can easily solve any problems or issues. Nowadays, many people have to face many communication difficulties. The message intended by the sender is not understood by the recipient in the same terms and meaning, and hence the communication is impaired. These communication barriers need to be addressed and overcome to ensure smooth and effective communication.


So in this article, let’s discuss how to overcome these obstacles in communication.


Content list




Facts and Figures

The Harvard Business Review found that 57% of employees said they were “not given clear instructions at work”, and 69% of managers admitted it was “inconvenient to communicate with employees.” They lack confidence in communicating direct feedback on negatively achievable performance and sharing the lessons learned from their mistakes, which indicates insecurity.


According to the Society for Human Resource Management study, the “cost of bad communications,” the average loss associated with poor communication in the workplace, is $ 62.4 million per year. Although the study covers 400 large companies with 100,000+ employees, miscommunication can cost 20 420,000 a year for a small business with less than 100 employees, says author and communications expert Debra Hamilton.


Significance of Effective Communication at Work


In the last few decades, most workplaces have moved from the office to the virtual space. We complete our tasks, and we communicate in the cloud. However, we still struggle with the same communication problems we had decades ago. Although technology has changed over the past few decades, most communication problems in the workplace remain. The key to improving team communication is choosing the right channel, showing understanding to your coworkers, documenting your communication process and, ultimately, thinking carefully about what and to whom you are sending.


Strong communication skills enhance a positive work environment and increase job satisfaction. In the last few decades, most workplaces have moved from the office to the virtual space. We complete our tasks, and we communicate in the cloud. However, we still struggle with the same communication problems we had decades ago. Effective communication in the workplace leads to efficient completion of projects and positive bonds between colleagues. But even those with good communication skills have difficulty communicating. Communication breakdowns are problematic for workplace productivity, damage business relationships, and make daily tasks difficult.


Identifying communication barriers and learning strategies to solve communication problems can help you be more successful in your work and maintain a positive work environment. Learn about some common barriers to communication in the workplace and review the strategies used to overcome them. By overcoming obstacles to effective communication to avoid misunderstandings and misunderstandings between people, you may improve your personal, social, and professional interactions with others. With minimal communication barriers, you can exchange information efficiently, help colleagues and customers better, and build mutually beneficial relationships.


Why is it Necessary to Overcome Communication Barriers at Work?


Despite the effect of technology on basic communication and working functions, it is also imperative to keep in mind that different generations have different experiences and expectations and varying comfort levels with various tools. While a Generation Z employee (born in 1996 or later) grew up practically surrounded by screens, a Gen Xer (born between 1965 and 1980) may still find Zoom meetings uncomfortable and ineffective.



  • Strong communication skills in the workplace promote a positive work environment and can enhance job satisfaction
  • Effective workplace communication leads to efficient completion of projects and positive bonds between coworkers. But even the most skilled communicators can have communication barriersc
  • Communication breakdown is problematic for workplace productivity, damages business relationships, and makes daily duties difficult
  • Identifying communication barriers and knowing strategies for resolving communication issues can help you become more successful in your work and maintain a positive work environment
  • Learn about specific barriers to communication in the workplace and review strategies to use to address them



How to Overcome Communication Barriers at Work?



A good strategy is to not rely too heavily on any one communication style or tool for your business. While the pandemic may have increased the dependency on virtual meetings, tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom etc., do not make these the only outlet for communication. Include a more traditional form of communication such as over the phone or even face to face if and when possible for a more effective form of communication, keeping in mind the diverse workforce at various organizations today.


It is crucial to understand how to overcome communication barriers to avoid misunderstandings and misunderstandings between people. By overcoming barriers to effective communication, you can improve your personal, social, and professional interactions with others. You can efficiently exchange information, better assist colleagues and clients, and build mutually beneficial relationships with minimal communication barriers. So here are some tips to overcome communication barriers at work.


  1. Find New Ways to Communicate

  2. This may not be a problem if you feel that you are not communicating well enough with your team. Your team members may not be in love with your preferred mode of communication. The email was the preferred way of communicating with many companies worldwide. Despite its many advantages, it also had drawbacks, so new tools were created. Team chat apps such as chat, video messaging apps, voice call apps, screen sharing apps, etc.



    Try something else if one communication tool doesn’t work for your team. For example, emails for messages about tasks requiring immediate attention or prompt questions can be very complicated when using your team chat app.




  3. Understand Your Coworkers

  4. Most importantly, most communication problems occur in the workplace because you do not understand the other side. Whether it understands their point of view or something related to their workday, we can’t communicate properly because we don’t understand them. How often has it happened that someone from another department is talking about something, and you have no idea what they are talking about? To prevent this, make sure all your team members know ​​what other teams and colleagues are doing. They will better understand their work stress, duties and how they fit into the grand scheme of your company.


    You can do this by taking a handbook with an overview of all your positions in the company or by introducing new employee duties. For some roles, it is advisable to send your employees to the course to learn more about the various processes in your company. For example, the web development introductory course will significantly benefit HR experts so that they can find and hire better developers.



    seen that Gen Z is opposed to traditional 9-to-5 jobs and strongly prefers remote work. To create a more inclusive, diverse, and a productive workplace, organizations will have to compromise among competing assumptions about some fundamental workplace parameters, such as:



    • Departure and arrival times
    • Vacation policies
    • Accommodations for mental health and well-being issues, etc.
    • Values expression/advocacy for causes at work and on social media
    • Work-life equilibrium
    • Remote versus in-office work, as well as hybrid situations



    Thus, the key is to balance consistency with flexibility for better communication and productivity. However, organizations should make sure that one is not stereotyping any employee, nor should they assume that all employees may respond the same way to the same motivators.


  5. Focus on Important Topics

  6. There are a lot of problems in communication because we communicate things we don’t need or include people we don’t need. Regardless of the channel or the participant, make sure you stay on topic for starters. Sharing memes and gifs in a new project discussion is not a good idea, so avoid skipping topics. You can always create dedicated groups or channels for random discussions unrelated to work.


    The second point is that it’s time to learn the difference between “reply” and “reply to all” in email and other methods of communication. If you only send messages to people who need to see and take action, you save them and your time. Again, modern chat software has different channels and groups where you can add only the required participants.



    Although technology has changed over the past few decades, most problems in the workplace have remained the same. The key to improving team communication is choosing the right channel, communicating with your colleagues, documenting your communication process and, ultimately, thinking carefully about what and to whom you are sending.


  7. Be Present and Specific

  8. Avoid any assumptions about what you will share while you are together. Listen carefully and wait after the feedback request. Briefly share valuable details to make information easier to understand and remember. Be concise and allow others to ask explanatory questions to speed up the exchange of information.


Should You Overcome Communication Barriers at Work?


Yes, it is also imperative to overcome communication barriers.



.

Employees from four different generations, spanning 1946 to the present, now work in today’s workplace. Work habits, social values, communication styles, and even emojis in messages can create a generation gap among employees. Working from home can also amplify generational divides. Meanwhile, in 2019, it’s also time to learn the difference between “Reply” and “Reply to All” in email and other methods of communication. If you only send messages to people who need to see and take action, you save them and your time. Again, modern chat software has different channels and groups where you can add only the required participants. It is critical in organisations to implement methods to improve employee and employer communication skills.

A survey of 845 professional executives from Canadian-based laser marketing identified “leadership” and “effective communication” as the best managerial capabilities but also as “the two areas most in need of improvement.” Don’t let such critical elements enter the workplace again. Take charge today and improve workplace communication.

Conclusion

Communication is an essential skill nowadays which you should have. Without communication skills you can not know the other person entirely and also you can’t describe yourself to other people. While working at a company or organization, it is the basic need that you should have strong communication skills. You have to attend many meetings and talk with your seniors, coworkers, customers, etc. So if you can’t communicate properly, it can affect your performance. Also, your good communication skills present you. Your personality depends on your communication skills. How you interact with other people is very important while working at an organization.

FAQs



  1. What are the types of communication barriers?


  2. There are mainly three types of communication barriers.

    • Physical barriers-This type of communication barrier can refer to the physical layout of the workplace. As well as perceived areas in the office space. For example, if all the supervisors are working in one office area, other employees may be afraid to move to that area and consequently avoid that area.
    • Emotional barriers-Emotional communication barriers are caused by emotions such as distrust and fear. For example, if a person is afraid of their manager, they are more likely to interpret the conversation with the manager in a hostile and intimate way.
    • Language barriers can occur when you can’t understand or speak the other language. Learning that language can be an effective way to overcome this barrier.

    • 2. What we can understand through communication?

      In more technical terms, we can say that communication is the process that allows the message to be transmitted and received (information, ideas ). Through this process, two or more people are connected through messages that move from one place to another through channels (e.g. air, in oral communication). However, communication is not always fluid, clear and accurate; often, the message is distorted or does not reach the receiver properly (or is not transmitted directly from the sender). When this happens, communication barriers are at work, nothing but interference or barriers.


      3. What is the psychological communication barrier?

      Communication barriers can also be psychological; It has to do with the specific psychological condition of the sender or recipient of the message. Yes, these types of barriers are also related to the emotional state of the sender and/or recipient, which can change the message. On the other hand, they also express sympathy or rejection of the sender or recipient, affecting how we receive or interpret the message. Ultimately, prejudice also plays a vital role in these communication barriers, as they influence how we view others and how their message reaches us.


      4. What are the simple tips to overcome communication barriers?

      Here are some essential tips to overcome communication barriers.


      • Always clarify unsolicited messages before proceeding with the conversation.
      • If you do not understand a message, ask directly.
      • Use expressions that encourage clear and fluent communication (i.e. be clear and direct).
      • Take sympathy with the negotiator.
      • Practice active listening (listen carefully, ask by peering into the eyes).
      • Use a language according to the age of the interlocutor (for example, children versus adults)
      • Be consistent with what we say and how we speak it (literal and nonliteral language).
      • Don’t let prejudice affect you.
      • Take care of the environment to facilitate communication (light, sound …).
      • Check/verify that they follow us when we speak.
      • To prevent the message from being distorted, exercise control of emotions as much as possible.
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