Communication barriers: basic tips

by SSA Cavendish

Everyone would define communication in different ways. How would you define it? For me it’s the way you receive and impart information whether that’s face to face which will include verbal and non-verbal means and written communication such as emails, letters or instant messages.

We all know how crucial it is to present ourselves to others properly. On many occasions we may find ourselves lacking the ability to communicate due to barriers in place. So what are some of these barriers that arise?

Having a hard time expressing yourself: The words are not coming out and your brain has frozen. I have this problem when I’m on the phone to my gas company, bank or student finance. I have this mental block and I have no idea what to say. There was a time I used to answer consistently with ‘hello hi’ which caused my sister to laugh at me. So I always try to plan out exactly what I’m going to say and rehearse it a couple of times. As silly as that sounds it’s helped me immensely. In terms of speaking face to face with someone it may be a good idea to take a step back, pause and think about what you want to say next.

Not everyone will be as interested as you are: You can sense from the way the person is receiving the information that they just don’t care. So ask yourself do you need to spice up what you’re saying, because it’s boring, or is this an inconvenient time for the person? Think about where you work, some students work at call centres, as charity fundraisers and other positions where you need to sell your product to your customer. Their lack of interest shows in their rude responses or curt replies. How can you get around that?

They lack the knowledge: Imagine the passion you have for your degree and the knowledge you love to gain. Now imagine trying to explain difficult terms and concepts to a family member as if you were a human textbook? Or think about where you work and a customer walks in whose first language isn’t English? We meet people from all walks of life, so figure out who you’re dealing with and how you need to explain a concept to them.

Personality or behaviour: Imagine a person with an aggressive nature having a conversation with someone passive by nature? It could go like this, the aggressive person is a difficult person to be around, they’re rude abrupt and possibly even dictatorial. The passive person will either allow this to build up and never say a word or one day they may explode with hidden anger. Now, that causes more damage than good. Ask yourself how do you present yourself to people? Now these questions may seem harsh but ask yourself if you’ve ever been difficult on purpose and did you have to be that way? Perhaps you’ve seen yourself behave in a way is harsh to others. Don’t beat yourself up about it though because life is about changing and wanting to grow.

Comment with some other barriers to overcome

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About studentsofwest

This blog was created for the students of Westminster university. WEST stands for Westminster's efficient, successful and triumphant students. Hopefully this blog will help students in wanting to achieve these qualities. It won't make student's an overnight successes. Rather it is meant to be a gentle nudge for the student so that they pave their own road in life, whilst at the same time benefitting other students (for the students, by the students). Students can email in their ideas and queries to studentsofwest@outlook.com Finally: Mother to Son Well, son, I’ll tell you: Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair. It’s had tacks in it, And splinters, And boards torn up, And places with no carpet on the floor— Bare. But all the time I’se been a-climbin’ on, And reachin’ landin’s, And turnin’ corners, And sometimes goin’ in the dark Where there ain’t been no light. So boy, don’t you turn back. Don’t you set down on the steps ’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard. Don’t you fall now— For I’se still goin’, honey, I’se still climbin’, And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair. By Langston Hughes You can make it students of WEST!
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