Blockers to Effective Communication
When we surf the Net, we can find numerous articles on Communication Blockers as well as certain behaviours that have negative impacts. Many blockers arise from lack of self-awareness and unconscious habits.
Peter K Gerlack of NSRC Experts Council offers a free self-assessment worksheet that really helps you to find your blocks. You can find it at; http//sfhelp.org/cx/blocks.htm It is an excellent tool to help us reflect and observe ourselves and others.
Personally, I get turned off when the other person has habits that arouses my emotions and prevent me from having a worthwhile dialogue.
Examples of Typical Communication Blocks
The sender sends a double (mixed) message
One or both people are constantly distracted
The other person often interrupts
The other person makes wrong assumptions
The person starts talking before you finish talking
The person denies or minimizes the current emotions
Focus too often on the past
Focus on oneself
Generalizing; always, never, often
Preaching, moralizing, lecturing or advising (this one really turns me off).
Sarcastic, critical, name-calling
Physical or emotional withdrawal
The list is endless. There are also many behaviours that inhibit communication. No wonder people have difficulty communicating.
Rolling one’s eyes
Crossing one’s arms
Deep and audible sighs
Looking at one’s watch often
Not looking at the other person
Telling the other person what to do or not to do
How many of these habits have you observed or been a victim of?
How do you feel when this happens to you?
What is your typical reaction?
There are possibly hundreds of communication blockers when we stop and observe them. They often hinder problem resolution.
In the next articles, I will dig into the subject and endeavour to describe the behaviours and provide suggestions for improvement and how to react when you are a victim of those bad habits. The goal is to improve the dialogue and prevent tension from escalating in the workplace.
Jean-Paul Gagnon, ACC, CHRP is a professional coach, certified as CINERGY Conflict Management Coach. He is also a trained practitioner in conflict resolution. He is a mediator in the workplace and a volunteer community mediator. He has over 35 years of experience in Human Resource Management.
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