5. Relationship Management

Communication Barriers in the Workplace

At the end of this lesson, you should be able to communicate at the highest level - talk the talk, walk the walk.

Communication barriers are obstacles which can restrict effective communication and lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretations. With your previous Dux communication skills, you know that you can literally build a bridge! So for every work-related barrier we touch on, please come up with a personal suggested bridge to overcome it.

Barriers and Bridges to Business Communication

1. Noise can hinder successful communication. Consider the type of environment you will be working in - be it a quiet office vs a rowdy open plan office; a construction site vs a bereavement centre.

2. Unorganised thoughts can also play a part in hindering effective communication. Especially when you are new to the environment, take care to organise your thoughts and plan what you are going to say before you open your mouth.

On the flip side, muddled thoughts can lead you to incorrectly interpreting information as the receiver. Don’t be shy to immediately clear up any confusion you may have. Make it a habit to verify numbers and spell out words using the phonetic alphabet - this will decrease your error rate and improve the effectiveness of your communication.

To avoid fumbling for words to use, download the official phonetic alphabet HERE. It is quicker, easier, and more professional.

Keeping a small notebook on hand is an old-fashioned, but effective, way to stay on point when you want to discuss something, and also to keep track of what has been said to you.

3. Mood and time – two elements which you should check before communicating. Even a positive message can be negatively decoded if either of these is out of kilter.

4. When you are a newbie, your nerves may get the better of you and this could result in speaking too quickly or at too high a pitch. Slow down using pauses just as you use punctuation marks in written communication. Take some time in the morning to run through some voice preparation exercises such as these:

5. The demographic spread in your company could mean that you mingle with some very interesting people. Tailor your message to unfamiliar cultures, different generations, and diverse outlooks. (Download a guide to cultural body language dos and don'ts in the quiz.)

6. Tailoring your message to your audience is a good practice. However, a lack of consistency in your overall communication style gives the impression that you are either moody or inauthentic. This is especially important to bear in mind when you are tired or stressed.

With your Dux personal development skills, we are confident that you will be an example to your fellow junior colleagues!

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