Common Barriers to Excellent Communication Skills

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We got the chance to sit down with Jackie Mueckenheim, Senior Trainer, Learning & Development Team at ERC, to discuss some communication breakdowns and behaviors that happen within the workplace.

Common reasons communication breaks down in the workplace

When training and working with leadership groups, Mueckenheim often asks her groups if they can tell her the difference between talking to other people and talking with other people.

“Talking to is one directional. It is not rapport or relationship building, it’s just telling. I think when leaders approach their communication practice from a mind set or a value set of talking with people, it turns out that even if we don’t agree or aren’t happy, you still deserve to be heard and I still deserve to be listened to,” says Mueckenheim. 

Within this process, even if it’s difficult, relationships are still being built and better rapport is happening. The long term result is there are fewer breakdowns in communication because everyone knows and understands one another.

What leaders need to remember is that communication building takes time.

Top leadership behaviors leaders struggle with today

Mueckenheim has worked in a wide variety of industries, but it never seemed to matter who she was working with, every leader struggled with the same things.

  1. Follow Through
  2. Consistency
  3. True Meaningful Communication
  4. Dealing with Performance Issues
  5. Correcting Someone’s Performance While Still Encouraging Them
  6. Coaching
  7. Mentoring

“These all boil down to time, it all takes time,” says Mueckenheim. “These are things that take effort and focus, and it’s not that leaders don’t value it, because they do. They have good, positive attitudes and want to do what’s best for themselves and their organization,” says Mueckenheim.

What employees may not understand sometimes is that everyone has stress, including their senior leaders or middle managers, and everyone is pressed for time. So if everyone within the company can take the time to improve their focus and efforts, there will be a more cohesive feeling in the workplace.

ERC provides customized communication skills training courses across the nation.

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