Barriers to Effective Communication

There are barriers to effective communication in the workplace, and the one that stands out the most would be the different cultures that exist out there today.

As an example if you are a native New Yorker and move to Los Angeles, there will be a difference in how the language is used. In addition, there will be a difference in body language and voice fluctuation. New Yorker's have a lot of passion when speaking, and speak very quickly. This can be difficult for someone from Los Angeles. I have lived in both places for a significant amount of time so I know.

These differences will be vastly different if we start talking about different countries.

When we learn a new language we generally learn the proper meaning of words for that language which under normal conditions is exactly what we want. However, what we don't learn is all the ways those words can be used for different meanings.

Barriers to Effective Communication - Or if someone said, "That dude is bad"

Just a simple example would be if during a conversation someone refers to someone as "Hot", they certainly don't mean they have a high temperature. Or if someone said, "That dude is bad". They most likely don't mean that they are in trouble with the law or did something wrong.

So when you are dealing with someone from a different country or even a different state, you can run into problems with them understanding exactly what your expectations are.

How you say the same word sometimes can send a different message also.

As an example if someone is asking if something is alright and your response is "Sure." You can say that word in a variety of ways to mean everything from you agree to you must be out of your mind.

Barriers to Effective Communication - You will leave people just stumped...

As we have already discussed, using slang can be a great resource for those that understand it, but can also be a huge road block for those that don't.

You will leave people just stumped as to what to do if you take it for granted that they understood you.

Always ask for them to respond back to you as to what they understood you to say.

You may want to do the same to them when they are giving you information. You could say something like, 'This is what I understood you to say or mean."

Be up front about the differences. You both know they exist and this will help you to come to a better understanding in all your conversations.

Finally, don't discount someone as a potential employee just because you sense a difference in language. I have found that this type of employee works just as hard, and sometimes harder than others.

Good Luck and may God bless you!

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