The biggest barriers to communication and how to avoid them

What should you keep in mind in order to avoid barriers to communication?

Effective communication is one of the most valuable skills you need to possess if you intend to succeed in your field. Companies around the world spend millions of dollars to help their employees enhance their communication skills because communication plays a  vital role in the everyday operation of any  organization.

Good communication goes beyond face-to-face conversations. It is also reflected on how you communicate in your written reports, emails and media appearances.

Understanding the barriers to communication will help you deliver your message effectively. These barriers occur at any stage of the communication process.  And to be a skilled communicator, you must be aware of these barriers and reduce their impact.

Use of Jargon

Jargon is “Technical Terms”. It’s the special language for people within a certain field. Jargon is a useful time-saving shorthand for people INSIDE a professional field. For example it’s quite acceptable in the television world for one member of the production team to ask another ‘if the VT had finished in the offline because it might need to TX tonight’, because they would know that referred to whether a short item had finished being edited as it might be needed to be broadcasted that evening. But it’s unlikely that anyone outside of televion production would understand what was meant by that request. Therefore, if you are talking to people outside a certain field, using jargon will only confuse your audience

Emotional Barriers

To get your message across, it is important to “Know your Emotions”. You may not even know that you are already projecting negative emotions  and it’s affecting the person listening to you. Learn to channel these emotions effectively rather than lose control.

Taboos

Taboo is defined as a custom that prohibits certain people, practices , places or things. Be aware of the topics that are “off limits”or taboo. This varies from country to counry and company to company. So it’s vital you know your audience before you begin communicating to them.

Cultural Differences

Norms of social interaction vary in different cultures. People interpret things differently. Be sensitive and always take into consideration people’s traditions and cultures.

Physical Disabilities

Physical disabilities such as hearing, reading and speech problems. You should ensure that your communication is understood by as wide an audience as possible, and that can mean taking extra steps to make your message as accesible as possible to people with disabilities. Making documents available in extra large print or having a sign language interpreter appear on your videos or translate during speeches are just some ways this can be achieved.

Language differences

There are roughly 6,500 spoken languages around the world. Thus, language barriers are one of the most common challenges in the international business. Although English is the de-facto international business language, assuming it will be understood isn’t advisable. With the growing amount of freelancers available online at reasonable rates, hiring a translator isn’t as expensive as it once was. But don’t rely on automatic translation
tools as this video demonstrates.

False assumption or stereotyping

Keep in mind that people prefer to hear what they want to hear. Most of the time people easily jump into incorrect conclusions. So it’s best to repeat points for the sake of clarity than leave people assuming you meant something else. Even in a short speech or media appearance you sometimes have to repeat something three times before it’s understood.


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