The Barriers to Connecting Effectively Through Communication

| | Personal Leadership
The Barriers to Connecting Effectively Through Communication

The ability to connect with others is crucial to your influence and to your leadership. tweet this

Common wisdom tells us that being open, approachable, and authentic are key to connecting. It’s also critical that you listen well. Yet in the words of Brendan Burchard, “Common wisdom is not always common practice.”

John Maxwell suggests that there are four main barriers to communicating in a way that fosters connection with others. The four are outlined below.

Before you read through them, though, consider a situation in which you are having difficulty connecting with someone. Do any of these apply?

Keep in mind that it is just as important to consider which could be in the way from the other person’s point of view, not just your own.

Here are the four barriers.

Assumption: I already know.

It’s been said that the three most limiting words in the English language are “I know that.” After all, if you already know — why listen? The person talking will likely not feel listened to, even if you pretend you are interested.

Arrogance: I don’t need to know.

This is a sure-fire way to make someone feel dismissed, disrespected, or disregarded. The result is likely to be anger or feeling diminished, rather than feeling connected. Be particularly aware of this when you are speaking to  someone who holds a lower level position than you.

Control: I don’t want others to know.

There was a time when knowledge was power. That time has long since passed! Withholding information will breed mistrust rather than connection.

Indifference: I don’t care to know.

This has a similar effect to arrogance. “I don’t care to know” can be far too easily interpreted as “I don’t care about you.”

What gets in your way when it comes to connecting with others?


Image credit: eak_kkk


Enter A Comment

aurelius brackins   |   12 February 2016   |   Reply

I almost did not take the time to read the blog, but sure glad I did….very good advice…..thank you.

Susan Mazza   |   15 February 2016   |   Reply

Thanks Reese! Glad it was helpful.

Mike Henry Sr.   |   13 February 2016   |   Reply

Thanks for the post and the reminder. It’s easy to let yourself get caught up in one of the 4 problems. My biggest problem is… all of them! Thanks again.

Susan Mazza   |   15 February 2016   |   Reply

Haha! Thanks Mike. I think we all fall into these traps on occasion – the question is do we recognize it when we do!