Barriers to communication can present themselves to you in many diverse forms. Whether they are due to cultural, physical, emotional, ethical or moral differences, overcoming these communicative hurdles is important to making positive progressive steps in life. Becoming objective and goal oriented can help on your journey to overcoming communication barriers, but knowing where and how to begin making progress is half the battle.
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Pinpoint problematic areas for improvement. Personal integrity and sincere honesty will have to work hand-in-hand in this portion of overcoming communication barriers, as you will have to resolutely identify problems. Note if communication is based on a sense of common misunderstanding, generalisation or even lack of empathy. After identifying personal areas where improvement should be made, you can begin to eliminate barriers separating you from true understanding with others.
Remove distractions when communicating. In the age of technology, devices that are meant for communication, such as cell phones and digital organisers, can actually be a distraction from it. Try to remove distraction from the presence of communication so that attention can be fully directed appropriately.
Learn to effectively listen. Listening can mean more than just physically hearing what a communicator is saying, but actually empathising and aligning your interest. Attentive observation after analysing your own perception is key to effective listening. Direct all of your senses to those who are trying to communicate as if you were a sponge soaking in liquid data from others. Teach those who may have the same deficiencies to do the same.
Respect the boundaries of others. Remember to avoid interrupting others as they speak to remove some confusion. This will help dissolve tension that may be a barrier to communication through showing respect. Avoid jumping to conclusions or finishing other’s sentences and allow them to express their thoughts unmolested. Focusing on the issue at hand rather than the person can also help you overcome your own preconceptions than may hinder communicative progress.
Practice flexibility in communication. Presenting yourself as an equal rather than a superior can often help put others at ease. This will mean they are more likely to be comfortable sharing their ideas in a calm setting freely. Learn to adjust to separate situations by adapting as they unfold. By recognising verbal and non-verbal signals, while adjusting your own behaviours, will allow you to adapt to changes in the communication environment more efficiently.
Tips and warnings
- Ask questions during a session of communication to clarify a point rather than to manipulate a situation. Manipulation can often cause repression and frustration in the communication environment.
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