There are many barriers to the process of interpersonal communication. In an organization – such as a project team - improving the process of interpersonal communication is as important as other project processes or protocols. It is with these communication key sets that people within an organization are able to understand each other regardless of their difference in departments, job functions and personal view or opinions.
Interpersonal communication barriers can be easily identified in instances when there is conflict or friction in the work environment. At this point the organization or team leader should immediately take measures to curb any conflict and train its members such that they will have an improved set of interpersonal communication skills.
Overcoming these barriers only takes four steps to observe and follow and form into a habit:
- Use Simple Words to Convey the Message. To have an effective process of interpersonal communication, you have to simplify language. Say simple structure sentences that will be easy to understand. Everyone hates to decipher spoken words, reserve the deciphering to the writing and when speaking, keep it simple and easy to understand. In a work environment, teammates can use word jargons to be able to understand each other using simple words or acronyms. Aside from this, the use of specialized acronyms will create a special bond that only the team will be able to understand.
- Learn the Art of Listening The process of interpersonal communication requires one to learn the [tag]art of listening[/tag]. We say art because not everyone can do this. A person will always try to get his opinions across first before listening to the other person’s point of view. To master the art of listening, try these tips: a. Listen Attentively – Listening does not mean hearing what the other person has to say. Hearing is not the same as listening. When we say listen, we mean to hear and understand. The speaker will know if the person he is speaking to is listening or not by randomly asking indirect questions about what he just said. But if he learns that the receiver was able to understand what he has just conveyed, then the process of interpersonal communication is a success. b. Listen Proactively – Listening is actually a two-way [tag]communication[/tag] and not one way as others believe or perceive to be. When two persons are communicating with each other, an effective process of interpersonal communication will require the use of asking questions while the other person is speaking. This will make the conversation richer and more interesting. Also, asking questions will keep the conversation in the right direction.
- Keeping Composure While Communicating The process of interpersonal communication is more effective if emotions are kept at bay. Keeping your composure while talking or negotiating with a business partner will maintain a mysterious air while at the same time keep you on the right track towards your goal. When you are in a casual conversation, however, showing some emotions can be helpful to build rapport to the one you are talking to. Showing emotions will let the other person know that you have sympathy and compassion towards him and definitely are signs of genuine interest.
- Constructive Criticism is Important Feedback is perhaps the best sign that you are communicating with the other person on a more personal level. Both the sender and receiver of communications may use feedback for effective interpersonal communication. If used by the sender, it will be in the form of a question such as "Did you understand what I have just said?" While when used by the receiver, it can be in the form of a remark or a statement such as, "What a wonderful speech!" When making a constructive criticism, be sure to say it only within the earshot of your subject. Remember, a constructive criticism for you can be misconstrued as a negative feedback.
To excel in the process of interpersonal communication, you must hone your skill in providing constructive criticism, especially for team leaders wherein they have to be mindful of the development of their team members. Expect many instances requiring constructive criticism as part of your job function.