Did you ever spend time with someone and feel as though they weren’t there? You may have occupied the same room, but you just didn’t connect. Whether this is an isolated occurrence or the hallmark of that relationship, it could be a warning sign of trouble ahead. Unfortunately, broken relationships don’t happen in a vacuum. Many of us unknowingly erect communication barriers, making it difficult for relationships to thrive. The remedy is to identify barriers to effective communication and eliminate them.
Communication barriers don’t happen to us; they’re created by us. So as easy as it is for us to create them, we can tear them down. Do any of these folks or attitudes sound familiar?
Barriers to Effective Communication
Juggler. Some people are always multitasking. They do so much that you’re never really sure if they’re merely “hearing” you –– or actually listening to what you have to say.
Busy bee. Some folks rush from activity to activity with no time to spare. Good luck pinning them down for a civilized conversation.
Distracted. Some people can’t even spell focus, much less practice it. They look at their watch, shout instructions, or pick up the phone while they talk to you.
Daydreamer. Some folks may be physically present, yet their mind is clearly somewhere else. (Huh…did you say something?)
Hard shell. Some people are so guarded that you can’t expect more than a trivial conversation. You may know them for years and still call them an acquaintance.
Taskmaster. Some folks reduce you to an item on their to-do list. They call or visit you because they have to, not because they want to (and it shows).
Intolerant. Some people with personal bias or prejudice “shut down” when certain topics come up. If they don’t agree with your position, they may hear you, but they’re not really listening.
Game player. Some people make you feel like you’re playing Wheel of Fortune. They call you from their car and due to bad cell service, all you hear is every fourth word. I guess you’re expected to fill in the blanks.
Egotist. Some folks are so busy talking about themselves, they never even consider that you might have something to say. As George Bernard Shaw said, “The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech.”
The first step in solving a problem is recognizing that you have one. Are you getting the message? What will you do to improve your communication?
How Many Barriers to Effective Communication Did You Recognize?
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