8 Barriers To Effective Communication

Communication is essential to the success of any business. When consulting with clients I often come across situations that could have been avoided had the barriers that inhibit communication been removed. I have listed eight barriers that can inhibit effective communication from happening in your restaurant. How many of these do you recognize?

1. Lack of communication skills. Many people have not been taught how to speak, read, and listen effectively. High on this problem list is the lack of listening skills. Too often both people are speaking and no one is listening. People also hear what they expect to hear and often stop listening altogether while they mentally frame their next comment.

2. Lack of motivation to communicate. Managers need to model—and instill in others—the desire to communicate effectively.

3. Lack of feedback. People communicate, or believe that they do, and sit back, assuming all is well. More attention to feedback must occur if you are to create an environment where communication flourishes.

4. Lack of feedforward. We all must take responsibility of sending clear and concise messages. Make sure your message is being understood.

5. Personality differences. When people work together, they bring with them their own unique personalities and attitudes. Rejoice in this diversity and take the time to identify difficult situations. What works for some, may not work for all.

6. Low self-esteemMake your employees feel that you value their work and their suggestions. Your employees need to feel that they are a value to the organization, but more importantly that you recognize their value.

7. Lack of a supportive climate. Do you motivate through fear? Or have you created a supportive climate that encourages upward communication. Do you welcome the bearer of bad news? Trust is an important element of a supportive climate. Do your employees trust you?

8. Failure to understand or tap the grapevine. A lively grapevine reflects a healthy organization, one in which people are comfortable talking about their jobs and the organization that they work for. The grapevine should be listened to intently by every manager.

The only way to help your employees grow is to create a positive work place environment where ideas and thoughts are shared. You are the catalyst that makes this all possible.

          Focus on your employees and they will focus on your customers.

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