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How to overcome communication barriers in the workplace

Updated April 17, 2017

According to Ohio State University, knowing the common barriers to communication is the first step to moving beyond them. Research conducted by the university shows that unclear messages represent the top communication barrier. However, each organisation may experience a variety of barriers that reduce workplace productivity and happiness. The Management Study Guide website states that in order to tear down communication barriers, management must be willing to confront the problems and guide employees on how to deal with them to ensure effective communication moving forward.

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  1. Gather employees and openly discuss the communication barriers that have arisen. All parties involved should understand the goal is to resolve the communication issues to improve the work environment.

  2. Explore the reasons why communication barriers have been built.

  3. Determine possible solutions for removing the communication barriers. Focus on what is wanted, rather than what is not wanted. This keeps the conversation positive.

  4. Agree on the solution that seems the most likely to work, a solution that everyone in the room feels comfortable with. If one or two people don't feel comfortable with the solution chosen, they should discuss their concerns with management privately.

  5. Evaluate the progress made after a reasonable amount of time. If the communication barriers persist, hold another meeting to discuss what went wrong, and how to move forward.

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About the Author

Kristina Allen began writing professionally in 2009. She has written editorial content as well as marketing collateral for a number of corporations and small businesses like Comcast Cable and Come Recommended. Allen holds a Bachelor of Arts in public communication from Florida Atlantic University and is pursuing a Master of Arts in communication from the same university.

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