This is a barrier to effective communication that affects many of us. Unfortunately our lack of confidence and fear can make our lives very difficult, especially in the workplace.
Barriers to Effective Communication
Physical distractions like being too hot, too cold and having too much noise around, makes it very difficult to get the message to the receiver in its correct form. It will more often than not be distorted.
The sender needs to be clear about what information they want to communicate, and only then deliver the message. The receiver will misinterpret a jumbled message.
Not Knowing the Receiver
Take some time to learn about the habits, culture, language and the thinking of the receiver. This helps with your content and your use of language.
Lack of Feedback
If the receiver does not give feedback, the sender does not know if the message has been interpreted correctly. It's important for the receiver to ask questions if they do not understand something.
The sender needs to create a friendly atmosphere, ask questions, smile, and make eye contact.
Not Paying Attention
The receiver needs to listen, not just hear what is being said.
We receive so much information on a daily basis, if we don't control it, it can be misinterpreted, overlooked or forgotten.
Not Retaining Information
Peoples memories are limited. We cannot always retain all the information, which can lead to communication breakdown.
In a work environment, targets have to be achieved within a certain time frame. This could lead to channels of communication being shortened and partial messages given in haste to reach the deadlines.
Some of our reasons for our fear are: outcome of the communication, the listeners perception, and not being able to think of the right words to use. We can overcome our fear by doing the following:
There is nothing better than a big broad smile to connect people, and help you relax.
Practice, Practice & Practice some more
When you need to make a presentation to a large audience or give feedback at a meeting with a group of people, or whatever the situation, the most important thing you can do for yourself is to practice, either on your own in front of the mirror, with a trusted friend or a colleague. Ask for feedback, positive and negative, to help you improve.
Use Simple Language
Don't try to use big, impressive sounding words, use simple language that is easily understood - the objective is to get the message across so everyone understands.
Improve your confidence by doing your homework to ensure you have the right information for the right audience. The more you know about your topic the more confident you are and less fearful.
Keep your body and mind feeling good, you will feel more confident and less fearful.
Analyse the Risk
You need to remember that not everyone is going to agree with you. There will be positive and negative responses. This is true for even the best communicators. Don't try to predict the outcome because you cannot control it.
Try these exercises to help you to relax:
- Breathe from your stomach, not your chest
- Relax your muscles from head to toe
- Mentally relax - breathe in positive thoughts, breathe out negative thoughts.
You need to understand the reason behind your fear, and with practice overcome it.
I hope this has been a help, let me know by leaving a comment. Thank you.
Next time: Business Communication
till next time,
have a great week ahead. See you soon