We know what a communication breakdown is, but why does it happen? There are many reasons. Here are some common ones:
- Poor listening skills. Talking is only part of communication. We must learn to listen well.
- Filtering. When we only hear what we want to hear, or we alter what someone says, we’re filtering.
- Messages can be perceived differently by different people. Culture, age, religion, gender, education, temperament, etc., can all impact how we perceive things.
- Language barriers. Just because two people speak English does not mean their words necessarily mean the same thing. Of course, two entirely different languages cause problems, too.
- Emotions. Communication can become difficult when emotions are in the driver’s seat. Self-soothing is an essential part of good communication. (Angry or upset people generally don’t communicate well).
- Environment. It’s harder to converse in a noisy place, or, if people are too far apart.
- Timing. Communication in a hurry, or during distractions can fall apart. Good communication requires the proper time and focus.
In future posts, I’ll go into more detail about addressing some of these communication issues.