How to Remove Communication Barriers
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Learn how to remove barriers to communication in this social skills lesson. You'll also find out what other barriers could be standing between you and your message from being delivered. Once we address potential roadblocks to communication, we'll be able to communicate more clearly and confidently.

You asked someone about their weekend and suddenly they’re talking about next month’s vacation plans and now they’re using technical medical language you can barely comprehend.

[Yawn] -- Huh, did you just say something?

Now, before you throw shade, think back to when you might’ve done something similar.

We can agree that there’s obviously a communication barrier here.

Let’s not have that happen to you. I want your social skills supercharged!

So stick around for Part Two of our barriers to communication series, where we discuss more surprising reasons why the person you’re talking to might not actually understand what you’re saying.

In Part one of the Barriers to Communication 2-series, we talked about some of the most common roadblocks to getting your point across. 

Today, we’re going to dive into five more ways you might be losing your audience. Our goal here is to remove communication barriers.

By understanding these barriers, you’ll equip yourself to be a much more effective, and persuasive, communicator.

The last one is particularly dangerous, and particularly prevalent, so I’d love to hear your experiences with it in the comments below.

Let’s get right into it:

Lack of enunciation

Similar to #5 in Part 1, this also has to do with the delivery of your message. Enunciation is how cleanly and clearly you are sounding out your words. When you don’t enunciate, your speech turns to mush, your words blend together, and people miss what you are saying.

So what’s the solution: Slowing down your speech helps with enunciation, but in this instance your focus should really be on making sure that each word you say is pronounced fully. If you watch a news anchor, or a Broadway show, or a really good public speaker, you’ll notice that they articulate each distinct word.

Some words do naturally blend together. Like “where’re you going today?” Notice how I barely pronounced the “are”. Try it again with clear enunciation: Where are you going today. Sounds a bit strange. In those cases, it’s fine for the words to blend. That’s what connected speech is all about.

But in most cases, you’ll find that separating your words helps the listener fully comprehend what you are saying. Even if it feels a bit stiff, that’s worth it to ensure clarity of speech, and when you do it more often, it will start to sound more natural.

Vague language

We’ve talked a lot about verbal communication, but there are communication barriers in writing as well.

The biggest challenge with written communication is that there is no body language or tone of voice. Without those cues, it can be difficult to know how something is being said.

Are they angry? Sarcastic? Or were they just in a hurry when they wrote it?

So what’s the solution: The most important thing in written communication is to be really clear about your tone of voice. If you are frustrated about something, it’s best to say that. If you are making a joke, make sure to say that as well – after the joke, of course. Emojis (when appropriate) can actually also be a fun way to lighten up your written text. There’s nothing like a smiley face or two to lighten things up.

The bottom line is, just don’t leave anything open to interpretation, because you may discover that the recipient’s interpretation is very different than your intention. And that’s where confusion starts. 

Over communicating

When conveying ideas, people often like to ere on the side of more than less. Which is a mistake.

When you say things using too many words, it’s easy to lose your audience. They may become bored or just lose track of what you’re trying to say. Wordiness also leads to you repeating yourself, which can cause confusion, because like, didn’t he already say that?

So what’s the solution: Less is best. Choose your words thoughtfully and don’t repeat yourself. This will ensure only the important stuff gets said.

It can be helpful to structure your thoughts using bullet points, which ensures each idea is articulated clearly, and more importantly, only once.

Don't forget, you can always add to what you said if they have questions. But once you say something, you can’t take it back.

Failure to engage

It is so easy to launch into your favorite topic and speak about it straight for ten minutes. But don’t assume it’s also your listener’s favorite topic!

While you’re talking, be on alert for boredom or loss of focus. If someone is bored with what you are saying, you’re not getting your message through to them. 

So what’s the solution: If you discover that you’ve lost their attention, find ways of making the conversation more interactive. Ask their opinions, share personal anecdotes or stories to get them fired up, and be authentic. 

The more they are encouraged to participate, the more likely they are to follow along.

Alright, that brings me to #10. The most dangerous of all communication barriers.

Tyrannical talk

This last one is toxic stuff. It's at the core of bullying and hateful speech. 

And it’s not ok.

The way this normally plays out is that someone gets on their soap box and proceeds to tell the listener what to think. This is very different than expressing an opinion, because in this case, there is no room for dissenting opinions. It’s the speaker’s way, or the highway.

This one-sided type of talking forces the listener to accept what is being said, which can be a really uncomfortable experience.

In such cases, the listener often just shuts down mentally, and once the speaker finishes, walks away with no intention of comprehension.

So what’s the solution: Be respectful and open minded. You’re free to stand by whatever you are saying. And don’t hesitate to speak with passion! But just make sure you are saying it in a way that makes clear you are open to other points of view. 

Even better, once you’ve spoken your peace, ask for the listener’s opinion. For all you know, they might change your mind!

Well there you have it, the second five barriers to communication.

Let’s quickly recap:

  • Lack of enunciation – be sure to sound out your words
  • Vague language – be as descriptive as possible, particularly in writing
  • Over communicating – keep it short silly!
  • Failure to engage – no, yawns don’t count as engagement, get them asking questions!
  • Tyrannical talk – no one likes a tyrant, speak with an open mind and you’ll be far more persuasive

The biggest takeaway here is that effective communication is an active process. It requires you to be aware of not only what you are saying, but how you are saying it, and to whom you are saying it. It is a two-way street, with some give and some take. If you do it right, your listeners will hear you out and respect what you have to say. 

At the end of the day, if the topic is something you feel strongly about, there’s nothing more important than being heard. So be sure to take a generous, open-minded approach to ensure that the audience actually listens to what you have to say.

Well that’s it for today Explearners. Add these strategies to your communication toolkit, try them out and make them your own!

If you enjoyed this lesson, like, comment and share, it really helps support the Explearning community and all the hard work we put into this channel.

And if you haven’t done so already, subscribe to join our tribe of Explearners.

I’ll see you in my next lesson! 😊

Happy Explearning!

About the Author and the Explearning Academy:

Mary Daphne is an expert in communication, executive interpersonal skills, and personal development. She is the founder of the Explearning Academy, a platform dedicated to helping individuals enhance their social fluency, boost their careers, and elevate their social game. Through immersive group coaching programs like the Executive Communication Lab and self-guided journeys, participants gain the social superpowers and career catapults they've been searching for. If you're ready to take your negotiation skills to the next level and connect with like-minded individuals, visit and explore the various plans available. Join the Explearning Academy community and unlock your full potential.

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