Among all the barriers to effective business communication, the lack of trust is the biggest barrier.
All businesses are in the business of managing their commitments to customers. Within a business, a key element to managing commitments is how well the members of a business work together.
In successful businesses, workers keep one another up to date on how projects are proceeding, whether they need new or additional resources, if they see problems ahead, and so on.
Leaders and workers is these businesses also ask for feedback on their performance. They want to learn how to get better at what they do. They speak directly and honestly to each other and listen generously to each other’s opinions.
When employees see one another as teammates, and not as opponents, they freely share information and give each other notice ahead of time when they know they are unable to deliver on their promises. They also raise questions, offer suggestions, and challenge policies and procedures they believe are flawed.
The result: few surprises that jeopardize the commitments the business has with its internal and external customers.
Emotional barriers to Effective Business Communication
When trust breaks down, the successful coordination of action within a business disappears. The conversations that enable employees to work well together go missing.
Individuals and groups within a business become suspicious or even fearful of one another. Eventually, they begin to live in moods that also become barriers to effective business communication.
Moods are emotional states workers slip into without realizing it. Moods such as resentment, anxiety, or fear become barriers because they limit the kinds of actions workers can take, and consequently, the results they can produce.
Moods lock workers into focusing more on protecting themselves and looking after their own interests rather than on working towards common objectives.
A worker who resents the way a co-worker treats her will not easily accept that person’s request if asked for a favor. Her resentment will not allow her to forgive and to forget.
And a worker anxious about earning his manager’s approval probably won’t ask him any critical questions at the next project meeting, even though such questions should be raised. His anxiety will steer him clear of any actions that might suggest he is not a team player.
When workers live in these moods, or other ones, they withhold or even suppress information, don’t speak up when asked for their opinion, participate in office gossip, don’t return calls, are late for meetings, and fail to alert coworkers when they can’t keep their commitments to them.
The result of these behaviors is lower morale, missed deadlines, decreased productivity, and increased costs, all of which put at risk contracts between businesses and commitments to internal and external customers.
Repairing emotional barriers to effective business communication
The lack of trust between leaders and employees within a business can be repaired. There are effective communication skills both groups can learn to rebuild trust and improve the way they work together.
The first step to rebuilding trust is to make a promise you intend to keep. A public promise is a declaration. Manager can make them to workers; workers can make them to each other.
The second step is to keep the promise. The fundamental skill required for keeping a promise is to know how to ask for help.
Effective Communication Coaching teaches you the communication skills necessary for making effective declarations and effective requests.
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