What is an inefficient / ineffective communication? Ineffective communication can create short- and long-term hostilities as well as decreased work productivity. We often don’t think about the process of communicating while we are doing it, but paying closer attention to how you both send and receive information can eliminate problems and improve relationships.
Any disruption or failure in the process can create ineffective communication. Language is an obvious example; if you as a sender speak in a language the receiver doesn’t understand, the communication fails. Writing a message to a person who has difficulties reading is also ineffective communication. These are called barriers, and they are not all so obvious. For example, if you have an idea but lack confidence to speak up, that is a barrier. Body language, such as slouching in a chair so that it looks like you are bored, is also a barrier.
Removing barriers will increase your odds of communicating effectively. Both senders and receivers should pay attention to others in the process, making eye contact, listening intently and avoiding distractions. By being empathetic, you are imagining what it is like to be in the other person’s situation, which helps the communication process. Stereotypes, generalizations and inaccurate perceptions are also barriers, and are harder to remove since you must be aware of them. Watching and listening to others can help you gauge your stereotypes and perceptions in relation to others and help you improve your communication.
THE EFFECTS OF INEFFECTIVE COMMUNICATIONS IN BUSINESS
Communication is a fact of life, especially in the workplace, where teamwork, technology and remote work are increasingly common. For a business to thrive meet deadlines and exceed goals, solid communication systems and relationships must be in place. When communication breaks down, so does the business. When stress, unmet expectations, relational breakdown, low morale, dissatisfied clients, family problems, health concerns and a smaller bottom line become chronic workplace issues, poor communication could at the root of the problem. The effects of ineffective communications in the work place are as follows:
1. STRESS IN THE WORKPLACE: high-stress levels in the workplace are a huge sign that there are communication problems. Poor communication can create a feeling that everything on your to-do list is urgent, causing you and others to hurry, feel tense, overworked and have little-to-no sense of humor. Good communication causes a sense of stability and predictability, but lack of communication or unhealthy communication introduces a sense of fear that causes tension, which is counterproductive to efficiency.
2. UNMET EXPECTATIONS: lack of communication causes unmet expectations. Teams miss deadlines, clients miss appointments, and people on a project do not seem to know what their roles are. When employees have trouble figuring out what their priorities should be, they often choose the wrong thing and end up disappointing their superiors. Without clearly communicated expectations and priorities, it is impossible to know where to start and how to complete a project efficiently.
3. RELATIONSHIP BREAKDOWN: your previously positive relationship might feel strained, so when you pass your co-worker’s or boss’s cubicle, you are likely to want to hide, rather than sit down and have a friendly solution-finding conversation. You may even feel a sense of uncertainty about seeking conflict resolution for fear of how it might affect your job security. It is also common to feel a sense of insecurity or lack of fulfillment in completing your daily tasks, and all of these emotions slow down productivity in the workplace.
4. LOW MORALE: when people are dealing with intense emotions, they spend more time than normal on emotional management. Productivity goes down, and morale is replaced by a sense of relief of making it through the day. Workplace survival mode can be a real problem. When business relationships are wounded and there is no repair, trust goes out the window, making it difficult to work together to meet deadlines. When people miss deadlines, they tend to feel poorly about performance. This vicious cycle prevents teams and businesses from reaching their true potential.
5. DISSATISFIED CLIENTS: dissatisfied clients can be a sign of poor communication. When teams miss deadlines or appointments, superiors tend to be frustrated and stressed, but so do clients. If your client was counting on phone service to begin before its grand opening and your installation team missed the deadline, your client could be out of money. If your legal team is not fully prepared to present a case in court and is winging it at the last minute, the ruling might not be in your client’s favor. When nursing staff misses a deadline, it could mean that a patient does not receive medication or a bath on time.
6. FAMILY STRESS: employees who are stressed all day go home stressed and worn out, which impacts their families. Instead of having a spouse or parent who is energetic and thankful to be home, the family is stuck with someone who has so many emotions to unload from the workday that an evening is barely enough time to get it all out. Employees may begin to feel guilty or even to experience conflict at home because of their tension and stress level. This stress stays with them as they start the next workday and it can be hard, if not impossible, to get ahead.
7. HEALTH: Employees who are stressed all day go home stressed and worn out, which impacts their families. Instead of having a spouse or parent who is energetic and thankful to be home, the family is stuck with someone who has so many emotions to unload from the workday that an evening is barely enough time to get it all out. Employees may begin to feel guilty or even to experience conflict at home because of their tension and stress level. This stress stays with them as they start the next workday and it can be hard, if not impossible, to get along.