Nearly every company, team and individual crave better communication at their office. This is proven and is based on research, which says that 50% of employees want more communication from their superior. It’s sad as well as mind boggling to think that we all struggle with a skill that we learn at a very young age. As infants we make sounds to express our wants and needs. We continue to develop by learning words, sentences and building our vocabulary, but then we struggle to communicate with others. Why is that? Also, is the communication ratio related to work or does it span across other life domains? Yes, we can look at our background, our upbringing or our education, however that is only one side of the challenge. What about our own roadblocks that get in the way?
Two specific roadblocks that hinder us from really connecting and communicating with others are:
Commonly, while we are “listening” to someone talk, we also have our mind chatting away in the background. We are analysing and judging how the person is speaking, how they look, what they are wearing, what words they are using, how they are standing or sitting, and what the point of this conversation is, etc.
We are silently labelling and perhaps even critiquing the person.
This is not a constructive communication process because it stops us from listening to what the other person is actually saying.
Think about it and look at the next few conversations you have. Are you judging the other person?
We have this knee jerk reaction to jump in and solve the problem or give advice. Often our advice is not constructive and we offer it too quickly which results in the conversation shutting down. Nine times out of ten the person you’re talking to has thought about the same solution/advice that you are offering. Do we need to offer the solution for our own narcissistic pleasure of tricking our ego and feeling important? Alternatively, do we think that the person will think less of us if we don’t know the answer?
Again look at how often and quickly you interrupt to fix, solve and give advice.
I won’t discuss tips on how to improve or remove these roadblocks of communication because I’m certain you’ve read copious amounts on reflective listening, and mindful or reflective questioning.
What I do want to highlight is that we often moan about poor communication at our office, yet we seldom look at ourselves as a possible contributing factor. With the roadblock of judging and providing solutions, we are active participants in the problem. Start changing and managing your communication skills and watch how others follow.
Remember change starts within you!
Contact us for more information about improving your communication skills today.