7 Common Communication Problems and How to Address Them

Here are 10 common communication problems and mistakes:
  • Not Truly Listening. …
  • Assuming You Know the Message Before the Person Finishes. …
  • Interrupting the Speaker. …
  • Using “You” Statements Instead of “I” Statements. …
  • Letting Your Emotions Dictate Your Response. …
  • Failing to Account for Cultural Differences in Communication.

In any relationship, poor communication can spell disaster. In the workplace, poor communication can cost you financially. Lack of appropriate channels for healthy workplace communication causes staff to feel underappreciated, disengaged, and less likely to go above and beyond to be an innovator within your business. There are several telltale signs that a business has a communication problem, but thankfully there is a treatment.

Due to the COVID pandemic, many organizations’ communication problems have gotten worse since their workforces started working remotely. These obstacles won’t go away given that more than half of knowledge workers want to continue working remotely after the pandemic. Leading companies are tackling these issues head-on, though, to make sure that workers can communicate effectively wherever they work.

How miscommunication happens (and how to avoid it) – Katherine Hampsten

Communication methods

Here are a few ways and platforms that are frequently used in the workplace today for communication:

Video messaging

Using video messaging, teams or employees can instantly connect with each other anywhere in the world. Applications for video messaging are used by businesses to improve communication with remote or long-distance workers. The applications are frequently preferred to phone calls because they allow users to see each other in video. Video conferencing offers a more intimate and private meeting than a phone call if you need to disclose sensitive information to a distant party.

Direct messaging

Some organizations provide instant messaging applications to their employees. These programs enable daily direct messaging between users, simplifying and streamlining communication within organizations. The majority of these applications support both one-on-one and group conversations. Furthermore, these apps offer real-time communication without the delay of email responses.

Email

Through a virtual inbox, email involves sending and receiving communication. Most organizations use email for both internal and external communication. Emails cannot be changed after they are sent, so each message must undergo careful editing before sending. Many email programs include extra features like shared meeting calendars, address books, and more to help with communication.

In-person

In-person communication involves speaking with one or more individuals face-to-face. Depending on the situation, face-to-face communication is frequently more valuable than online communication. For instance, no one uses a computer screen to conceal themselves when conversing in person. This often encourages more honest communication. Furthermore, through in-person communication, all parties can communicate with one another immediately and directly without any reliance on technology or delays.

Why is communication important?

Employers who put forth the time and effort to establish transparent communication channels foster employee trust. Strong employee-employer relationships boost morale and productivity overall. Teams collaborate more effectively, and managers are open with their teams about impending changes. When an employee needs a problem resolved, they send a direct message to the appropriate person rather than going through the chain of command, getting a quick response.

Communication problems

The following list outlines some of the most typical workplace communication issues, along with solutions:

Cultural differences

Modern workplaces are frequently more diverse than ever before, especially in companies that deal with clients or employees from other countries. Managers create novel and interesting ways to unite people from different backgrounds in order to achieve successful cohesion and teamwork. Choose team-building activities, and put people on teams who wouldn’t typically collaborate together and from different cultural backgrounds.

Additionally, host a cultural differences training session. This teaches workers how to be more understanding of cultural differences at work. In addition to behavior, the following factors have an impact on cultural differences at work:

Think about what concepts, things, or other unnecessary items might be offensive to certain cultures in the workplace. Ensure all team members actively consider these differences as well.

Attitude

If not properly addressed, a person’s ego and attitude frequently prevent teamwork and other initiatives in the workplace. For instance, a person might interrupt someone else while they are working in a meeting or refuse to concede defeat when the other person is correct. It is important to pay closer attention to the team members who are most impacted by attitude and ego.

Consider their experience and how it affects their work. Keep your composure and communicate that there is a better way to handle the situation than with their current attitude if you notice attitude or ego in a meeting, a conversation, or another area of the workplace.

Lack of motivation

Some companies see a decline in productivity as a result of their employees’ low levels of motivation. Lack of motivation or general disinterest is frequently caused by poor management communication or treatment of employees. Talk to and engage with team members. Discover if any hidden problems impact their performance. Once you are aware of the issue, take the appropriate action to address it or direct the person to another organization member who can assist.

Listening skills

Instead of just hearing what someone said, good listening skills help you comprehend or empathize with them. Stress the importance of active listening throughout the organization. Organize a workshop where staff members can learn more about the value of listening and how to hone their listening abilities, if necessary.

Written communication quality

Organizations communicate with one another using a variety of channels and methods. Examples include newsletters, emails, corporate software and more. Ensure your copy is well-written and free of grammatical errors. Before sending any written correspondence, let the other team members read it. Having someone else review your work increases the likelihood that even the smallest errors will be discovered and fixed.

Appropriate communication tools

In-person communication can be more effective than phone or email depending on the message. The success of a business’s overall communication depends on knowing when to use the various communication techniques. Email works best for non-sensitive information. When dealing with a complicated situation that has already led to the spread of misinformation, video calls are frequently the most efficient. Select an in-person delivery method when delivering sensitive information in a private space, like an office.

Oversharing

Although most businesses benefit from transparency, the idea of oversharing still calls for restraint. Oversharing results in rumors or the exchange of inappropriate or sensitive information. Consider the need and importance of confidentiality within the workplace. Consider, for instance, holding sensitive information meetings in a private, secure office, avoiding including confidential information in emails, and, as necessary, discouraging gossip or other inappropriate communication.

FAQ

What can cause problems in communication?

Common Barriers to Effective Communication
  • Dissatisfaction or Disinterest With One’s Job. …
  • Inability to Listen to Others. …
  • Lack of Transparency & Trust. …
  • Communication Styles (when they differ) …
  • Conflicts in the Workplace. …
  • Cultural Differences & Language.

What is the biggest problem in communication?

The illusion that communication has been successful is the biggest issue. – George Bernard Shaw.

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