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How Leaders Can Transcend Barriers To Effective Communication

Sharpen your leadership skills by improving your communication skills.

Picture source - Pixabay

Communication between leaders and employees is important for a company to thrive and grow in. For effective communication to take place, it must be received in the way it was intended to by the sender. When this doesn’t happen, it creates the ultimate barrier to achieving desirable message delivery outcomes.   

Communication is defined as the transmission of a message from a sender to a receiver through a chosen channel. It must be clearly understood by the receiver in its entirety through a five element process of the message to be delivered – sender, receiver, medium, message and feedback. 

The
importance of developing communication skills in leadership positions and
employees is often overlooked. It is an everyday function that we participate
in all the time; sales, customer service, management, training, speaking,
emails, marketing, logos, audio, images. They are all linked to communicating a
message to someone. Interpersonal skills in the workplace are considered to
be a very valuable skill when it is done well. So what barriers stop the flow of
effectively communicating a message?

Language Barriers

The
main barrier to effective communication is the language being used and
linguistic ability of the sender and receiver. However, even if the same
language is being used to communicate, the terminology, jargon and
abbreviations used in the message may not be fully understood by the receiver
if they are not familiar with it.

Physical Barriers

The
physical barrier to communication is the actual distance between the sender and
receiver(s). Communication is generally easier to be heard from shorter
distances when a person is speaking at the front of a room. On the other hand,
people who are physically further away from the speaker, or who have physical
problems, may not receive the information clearly.

Attitudinal Barriers

Language
is a human behaviour and attitude is everything in any task we do in our lives,
whether it is in the workplace or personal relationships. No matter how simple
or complex the process of our communication is, having a good attitude is the key
to being successful. Attitudinal barriers can be the result of
personality conflicts, poor management, and resistance to change or a lack of
motivation. With the nature of conflict involved in communication, it can be
very difficult to allow the expression of ideas from ourselves and others. This
is where having a good attitude comes in; effective senders and receivers of
messages should choose to overcome their own attitudinal barriers to facilitate
effective communication.

Psychological Barriers

Psychological
barriers are due to individual differences between people in their mentality and
behavioural aspects. The most common aspects of the barriers are; stress, anger
and unfamiliar accent. Many people experience stress, anger and frustration throughout
their lives and sometimes it can be difficult to manage or control our emotions when we communicate. Having bursts of emotions such as anger can cause distortion of
information from sender to receiver. Self-esteem is a personal strength to help
manage any situation with a great capacity of assertiveness.

Image Source – Pixabay

Very few people are aware of their communication skills and mostly blame others when miscommunication takes place. Language is a tool of transformation, whereas communication is the behaviour of people. It is a process that allows us to give, receive or exchange ideas, views, messages, enabling individuals and groups to persuade, seek or give information or express our emotions in order to be understood both in verbal and non-verbal ways. The use of body language and an emphasis on listening skills are both very important aspects of effective communication.

Administrative communication skills are also important to lead teams, increase skill development and productivity in the competitive world of business. The key to transcend all the barriers to effective communication is to ultimately be consciously aware of your communication skills at all times and commit to improving upon them at every chance you get. Your aim is to be clearly understood by the receivers of your message and that is your responsibility to ensure this happens in order to be a great leader and an excellent communicator. 

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