What are the steps or ways to overcome barriers to communication

Earlier article discuss the major hindrance or barriers to communication. This article seeks to understand what are the ways, steps or how management can help to overcome the barriers to communication:


1) Orientation of employees: at all times, management needs to provide the staff with information relating to company objectives, policies and authority relations. By doing so, the staff are aware of what’s happening and many possible conflicts and misunderstanding maybe avoided. An employee who knows about the company’s working environment is also able to appreciate problems of other people in the organization.

2) Developing proper inter-personal relations: There is a critical need to develop proper relations between different levels of people working in the organization. Superiors and subordinates should develop a feeling of mutual trusts and confidence. Wherever possible, managers should communicate through personal contacts and emphasize that communication is a two-way process.

3) Protective listening: Full attention should be paid to communication without premature evaluation or judgement. Upward communication is often distorted when managers uses his status and starts giving his own suggestions and viewpoints in the course of his face to face discussion with the subordinate. Without emphatic listening, free and frank response cannot be expected. In protective listening, the listener used to understand the viewpoint of the communicator without prejudging approving or disapproving what he says.

4) Using proper language: Semantic distortions can be minimized by communicating the message in direct, simple and meaningful language. Information should be worded so as to reach the level of the readership. Communication is not accepted if it is not properly understood.

5) Communication through actions and deeds: When a message is communicated without being acted upon, it tends to distort the current and subsequent communication from the manager. The rationale is that actions matching with deeds speak louder and clearer.

6) Strategic use of the grapevine: Grapevine is an essential part of the communication network in every organization. There are occasions when due to personal and other reasons, information should not be transmitted through the official channels of communication.

7) Watch non-verbal cues: In the case of oral communication, the sender should observe the actions of the receiver and find whether they go along with the understanding of the sender.

8) Feedback: Feedback is a very important tool in improving communication. Meaningful communication occurs when it is received as it was intended. Performance reports, questions clarifications, suggestions and emphatic listening are also very useful in providing the necessary feedback.

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