Before you can achieve effective communication, however, you must overcome some common barriers. The following 5 obstacles may be hindering your ability to communicate effectively in your professional and personal life:
1. Varying perspectives. We all have different points of view and often that can become a significant barrier in effective communication. Depending on the conversation, understanding where those differences reside may be your first order of business in discussing key issues. Be open to what the other parties have to say, because only in sharing ideas do you happen upon new and innovative concepts that may change the way you do business.
2. Message delivered to the wrong audience. Sometimes we preach to the choir. Other times we’re selling meat to vegetarians. In order for communication to be effective, we must ensure that we’re delivering the right messages to the right audiences, using language and terminology that’s familiar to them.
3. Unclear, inarticulate messages. If the audience can’t understand what you’re saying, there’s no use saying it. Depending on how complicated your message is, you may want to share it with someone else to ensure it’s clear. If that can’t be done, try approaching your message like a stranger. What exactly needs to be added, rearranged and revised in order for it to make more sense?
4. Apathy. Sometimes people just don’t care about your message. In that case, you have to not only communicate a message but also enthusiasm. Getting people excited about ideas can be a tough job, but if you understand what motivates them, you’re halfway there.
5. Forgetting that listening is part of communication. There are two key elements of effective communication: listening and speaking. It’s not surprising that most people don’t realize that listening is the more important of the two. If you’re not attending to the speaker and his/her message, it doesn’t matter what you say; your exchange will not be successful. Effective communication requires both parties to listen and speak when appropriate. That requires you to do your fair share of listening, and that doesn’t mean nodding your head absent-mindedly while replaying the last episode of Survivor in your head.
Whether you’re an accountant, a tax preparer, a motivational speaker or a celebrity chef, you must know how to communicate effectively in order to succeed. Eliminating these 5 barriers is a great first step to accomplishing clear and concise communication.
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Allen Bostrom, president and CEO of Universal Accounting Center has written a book designed to help any and every small business become more profitable, and it’s called In the Black: Nine Principles to Make Your Business More Profitable.
Allen’s father, Alf, made a living turning small businesses around. In fact, he was called the Turnaround King. For a small percentage of a business’s future profits, Alf would their business around, often yanking them from the brink of bankruptcy. In doing so, Alf learned many key principles about ensuring a business’s success. He passed those on to his son, Allen, who also has extensive experience helping small businesses thrive. Using his father’s principles and those he developed himself, Allen wrote In the Black.
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If you would like to enhance your business, this is a great place to start. Order In the Black today and have 9 principles, at-the-ready, that you can use to enhance your accounting practice. This small investment will make a big impact on your future.