At the core of all interaction is communication. Without effective communication skills, relationships suffer. If a company struggles with effective communication conflict occurs, stress increases and subsequently performance and efficiency will dramatically decrease. If there is a lack of communication in the workplace trying to create a high performing team is impossible; and, more importantly, a business will lose profits.

Therefore it is essential to continually foster and practice effective communication skills - among employees. At your workplace each and every team member needs to develop excellent communication skills. In order to do so it is important to understand what factors break down good communication and what skills are needed to develop effective communication.

First, what makes communication difficult in the workplace?
Communication is difficult because there are three common problems that cause confusion, misunderstanding, and in time, create barriers in business.

The first problem lies in the non-verbal aspect of communication. There are three parts to a message and when communicating we tend to focus on the actual talking piece. However, there is a more influential part of our message, the non-verbal piece. Many don't realize that communication is 55% non-verbal and 38% tone of voice and attitude. This means the actual speaking piece is only a small part of our message. So, your body language and tone of voice have a much greater influence on your message than what you are actually saying. Here lies the first problem in communication; our body language and tone could be saying one thing when our actual words are saying something else.

The second problem is that people communicate differently. People have different communication styles and temperaments. Some people are direct to the point people, while others are quiet and easy-going. A direct to the point person could come across as pushy or bossy to a person who is quiet or soft. Others tend to make quick decisions while some need to have deep reasoning to make a choice. People process information and communicate differently. These differences can cause barriers to be created making effective communication more difficult.

The third problem is that we tend to judge people who are different. We expect people to be like us, and if they're not, we perceive those differences to be wrong. Obviously, they are not wrong, they just communicate differently than you or I. By default, we are attracted to people who are like us; who have the same personality or the same thoughts. But, when someone is different or have a different opinion than us we might avoid or not communicate with them.

A few tips to help you or your employees communicate better...

First, I recommend getting feedback from a peer or a co-worker regarding your tone of voice and body language. We all believe we are doing our best to communicate effectively but in reality it's hard to be aware of your own non-verbal communication style. So ask someone, what message(s) you are portraying with your body language? How is your tone of voice? Be open to hear the constructive criticism and try to become more aware of your body language and tone. If you feel either needs improvement, then make a change.

Secondly, don't forget that people have different communication styles and temperaments. Do your best to not judge those differences as wrong. I encourage you and your team to welcome those differences. Accept them. Look at those differences as only differences and try not to expect people to be like you, everyone is different. If your team has not learned about different temperaments and personalities, I highly recommend it.

Finally, make sure you come willing to communicate. If someone is not willing, it makes interaction difficult. Engage with the co-workers around you. Talk to others who seem to communicate well and learn from them. Work on improving your communication skills daily until you and your team become effective communicators

Author's Bio: 

About the Author: Curtis J Steen trains on improving communication, teamwork, and leadership in businesses.

Curtis can be reached at 1 (800) 792-1262 web: or