Ten Barriers To Good Open Communication

Either in the workplace or in social settings be aware of the Ten Barriers; make sure that these are in the forefront of your mind when dealing with people, especially in a commercial or contractual situation.

  1. Physical; think carefully about proximity, layout of the environment you are in, actual location (never conduct a detailed sales negotiation in a café!
  2. Cultural; what cultural issues could get in the way of good communication? Be very aware of cultural norms and procedures and research your person well before meeting them!
  3. Experiential; how well do you know the person you are meeting with? What do they expect from the interaction and how is this best managed based on previous encounters?
  4. Organisational; what is the organisational context of the interaction? Friendly? Business-like? Negotiation? Confrontational?
  5. Linguistic; this can be as clear as different languages being used but can also include the heavy use of technical jargon from one side which limits the interaction from the other side.
  6. Perceptual; if I am in awe of the person or people I am dealing with my ability to have a rational and balanced conversation evaporates. Similarly if I have little feeling or respect for the audience I am unlikely to communicate in my best style.
  7. Emotional; keep emotions in check unless the situation allows everyone to express them freely and keep a healthy check on what you say and do!
  8. Motivational; be keen to communicate and take part but be aware that peoples motivation will change during an event so keep a watchful eye on how those around you deal with their levels of interest and motivation. Be prepared to increase motivation through additional topics brought into lay or by changing the focus and direction of the event.
  9. Nonverbal; look for body language clues that show people are either very interested in the communication process or that they are disinterested or disengaged. Use both to your advantage in a sales pitch by either closing the sale quickly or changing your approach to get them interested in the product or service.
  10. Competition; who else is in the communication process and are they a source of competition for you? If so watch carefully and alter your communication style and content or win back attention and focus.

Good Luck!

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