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BroadVision Marketing Blog

15 Causes of Poor Communications

Posted by Jaco Grobbelaa on Thu, Nov 17, 2011 @ 06:22 PM

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Communications"]pictograph of talking people[/caption]

Poor communications styles are the results of many factors. Here are some of the most common barriers.

  • The sender has a poor knowledge of the subject or is inadequately prepared. We all remember the poor substitute teacher who doesn’t know the material she is asked to convey. Often the students would wind up teaching the “teacher”.

  • The sender does not believe in the message or support the policy behind it. It is very hard to be enthusiastic about something you don’t believe in. That will be communicated with more clarity than the subject.

  • Receiver has poor knowledge of the subject or is inadequately prepared. This has happened to each of us at one time or another. We feel like the sender might as well be speaking Martian because we don’t understand what is being said.

  • Receiver is not interested in the subject. We have all had to give talks to people who don’t care and show it. It’s very hard to get someone interested in our subject if they simply are not.

  • Sender or receiver is temporarily preoccupied. Blame cell phones for this one. It is the item creating many offenders.

  • People unintentionally fail to say what they mean. Unless the person is an accomplished liar, mistakes like this happen and a misunderstanding occurs.

  • Sender and receiver have different vocabularies. This isn’t just a cultural vocabulary confusion, it also happens with business jargon and dialects.

  • Cultural differences exist between communicators. When common vocabularies are limited so is the communication.

  • Professional differences exist between the communicators. For example, an engineer can understand the theory behind a project and the construction manager can understand the practical way the project will proceed, but neither of them will necessarily be able to explain their part of the project or possible problems to the other.

  • Communicators have different assumptions. We all have heard the old saying about assumptions. . . I assume?

  • Status differences (leader-member) exist between communicators. At times the team member might feel that an idea he has might not be something he should bring up to the leader. The leader also might be leery of seeking the member out for discussion about how something might work.

  • One of the communicators has negative or hostile reactions to the other. You can see this plainly when one or more people roll their eyes when someone is speaking.

  • One or both parties are unintentionally miscommunicating. It might not be a lie, but it turns out not to be the truth either.

  • Outside interference or distractions have occurred. This is why meetings are best handled in a meeting room with a sign on the door. Still the outside can intervene with cell phones, emergencies and the head of the department calling for the team leader.

  • Pressure of time does not allow effective communications to occur. If meetings go on too long, no one will be able to keep from becoming tired. On the other hand if the meeting must proceed quickly, things might not get worked through.

Which kinds of communications barriers have you experienced? What did you do to overcome them? Please communicate with us in the comment box below.

This information is from Washington State School Directors’ Association and found on http://www.nsba.org/sbot/toolkit/
Jaco Grobbelaar, owner of BroadVision Marketing, helps business owners and business professionals put marketing strategies in place that consistently secure new clients. He can be reached at jaco@broadvisionmarketing.com or 707.799.1238. You can “Like” him at www.facebook.com/broadvisionmarketing or connect with him on www.linkedin.com/in/JacoGrobbelaar

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Topics: Communication, Mobile phone, Vocabulary, Nonverbal communication, Linguistics, Leadership, Team leader

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