Topic 4: Overcoming the Communication Barriers

The main instruments that we use for overcoming barriers to communication are:

  1. Plan the message.
  2. Deliver a clear message.
  3. Listen actively.
  4. Require and give feedback.

Source: Unsplash

  • Think of the purpose of your message. “What do you want to achieve? How will you define the desired results and how will you measure them?”;
  • Know your audience. “What are the specific characteristics of the receiver/s? What is their education, age, experience, probable perceptions, beliefs, stereotypes, emotional state, etc.?”;
  • Define the main purpose of receiver/s. “Why should they listen to you? What are they going to achieve by listening to you?”;
  • Define your Key message. “If there is one thing that the audience will remember after your communication what should it be?”;
  • Think of supporting arguments to your key message;
  • Formulate a clear, logically structured communication message (1 communication for 1 key message);
  • Use simple language. Avoid jargon unless you are sure that everyone understands it;
  • Keep your explanation short and avoid unnecessary detail (which is called “overloading”); 
  • Choose reasoning that is close to your listeners and your topic using examples to illustrate your point;
  • Make sure that the words you use mean exactly what you want to say;
  • Be courteous and friendly;
  • Be sincere, due to non-verbal communication the receiver will feel immediately if you are not;
  • Be confident and relaxed;
  • Have eye contact.
  • Look at the reactions of the receiver(s) to find out if they have understood the message.
  • Try to figure out based on their reactions how they feel about the message.
  • If you don’t get feedback from the receivers how they have understood the message, ask for it.
  • Invite the receiver/s to ask questions.

Requesting feedback is the only way to make sure if your listener has understood you correctly. Giving feedback is the best way to make sure if you have understood correctly what you have heard.