Overcoming Barriers of Communication
The communication process is successful when the sender and receiver can both equally understand the message that is being communicated. Unfortunately, most of the messages we send through various channels are only partially understood because of common communication barriers such as bypassing, differing frames of reference, lack of language skills and distractions.
A person’s frame is reference is formed by a combination of an individual’s experiences, education, culture, personality and expectations. Everyone brings their own completely different personal biases, prospects and predictions which can be a potential barrier. In workplace, there is a wide assortment of educational backgrounds which can work against the process because the receiver does not understand the purpose for the outcome. To overcome this barrier, the sender has to clearly state the desired results and the steps leading to the result. A strong business communicator must be aware of both frames of reference and also how the receiver will interpret the information.
Technology serves as a wonderful communication tool but digital distractions are becoming more of an issue in the workplace environment. Digital distractions such as cell phones, online chats and even emails can easily disrupt the employee’s focus of the task at hand. Employees are being faced with conflicting demands, multitasking, information overload and even staff shortage so overcoming the challenge of the remaining focused has become much harder in today’s workplace. To maintain focus, communicators must accept the challenges in encoding and decoding. Overcoming digital distractions can be accomplished by creating specific times when you check your email inbox, logging out of chat forums when needed, dealing with one message at a time, block unwanted incoming messages, becoming more ruthless when prioritizing your tasks and even putting your phone on ‘do not disturb’ mode. By following these simple suggestions the task could be completed much quicker with fewer interruptions.
Strong communication requires consideration of the person’s frame of reference and ignoring the interruptions both physical and digital to focus on the main objective. To overcome communication barriers the sender must adapt the message to the receiver, improve on their listening skills and plan for feedback. Clever communicators strive to avoid communication barriers by being aware of a person’s frame of reference and to dodge digital distractions. Only then we can foresee clear communication between the sender and the receiver to achieve more positive results.