Heavy concrete roadblocks blocking highway or street.

As we have talked about before, communication is the backbone of leadership. Knowing this, it is also important to know that there are barriers to communication that you can help minimize. The end goal isn’t simply communication. The goal is effective communication.

Communication is the process of transmitting information from one person to another. Effective communication is the process of sending a message in such a way that the message received by the employee is as close in meaning as possible to the message intended by the leader.

It is important that leaders know this difference. And that they know the difference between information and data. Information gives the data meaning. As an effective communicator, that is your job.

There is a Simon Sinek quote that says, “Communication is not about saying what we think. Communication is ensuring others hear what we mean.”

He doesn’t say it, but what he means is effective communication.

6 Roadblocks to Know About

There are many barriers to effective communication. Here is a list of 6 of them. Knowing these barriers will help you recognize them and begin to minimize them.

  1. Physical barriers-A couple of examples include bad lighting, poor office arrangement, and not having the proper equipment.
  2. Language-Words have different meanings in the English language. For instance, the word “date” has several meanings. It could be two people going on a date, it could be a calendar date, or it could be used in the context of “giving that example really dates them” or tells their age.
  3. Lack of common experience- When you have common experience, it helps to break down barriers to communication.
  4. Information overload-This is a big one. You need to learn how to communicate enough information in such a way that it helps your people thrive in completing their job without providing too much information. Information overload stops people in their tracks.
  5. Attitudes- Those with strong emotions are often not listened to as attentively or taken as seriously. When you are overbearing in your communication, you will be tuned out.
  6. Problems with the structure design of the organization- The organizations structure should be as such that it helps move the organizations strategy forward in every facet. Sometimes the structure is set up in such a way that it does not allow for communication to flow to the right people at the right time.

There are other barriers to communicating effectively, such as cultural noise, ambiguity and overuse of abstractions, and jumping to conclusions.

Remember, as the leader, you are responsible for your people hearing what you are trying to communicate. If they aren’t hearing what you are saying, then you need to figure out which barrier is preventing you being on the same page.

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