Factors That Can Inhibit Effective Communication

Written by elizabeth carrillo
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Factors That Can Inhibit Effective Communication
Take both verbal and nonverbal factors into consideration around effective communication. (A businessman an businesswoman having a conversation image by sumos from Fotolia.com)

Effective communication involves both the body and the mind. Misinterpreted signals are often the source of difficulties in communication between people. Remember that each person has a set of values and approaches that substantially affect how they interact with others. Effective communication involves an openness in both verbal and nonverbal expression.

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Body Language

A person's body language plays a big role in effective communication. Body language sends an unconscious message about a person's openness to communication. Examples of closed body language are arms crossed at the chest or a person hunched over in their seat with crossed legs. Turning away from the person instead of facing them directly also indicates an unwillingness to talk. A person with more open body language, such as arms resting comfortably at his or her sides, shows that the person wants to effectively communicate. There's a direct link between how people choose to hold themselves physically and the effectiveness of the discussion.

Cultural Differences

Cultural differences can inhibit effective communication. For example, many Mexicans have a smaller personal space than people of Caucasian descent. A Mexican may move in more closely to talk or even touch a person's shoulder or forearm to make a point. This could be interpreted as inappropriate by someone not of Latino descent or not familiar with Latino communication styles.

Conflict Management Skills

A person who is afraid of conflict may do everything in his or her power to avoid any difficulties, even if their point is valid. This could be perceived as a block or defence mechanism. Another type of person may find conflict to be a routine element of effective communication. This person could be seen as always looking for a fight.

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