Interpersonal communication skills are what help us to build good relationships with others. And the extent to which you can build effective referral partnerships depends a great deal on your interpersonal communication skills. These lay the foundations of a good partnership.
However, we all encounter barriers and sometimes it’s difficult to be aware of your own stumbling blocks. Here are a few of the most common communication stumbling blocks:
These occur when the person communicating fails to communicate clearly. If you find that you often confuse people, then a good starting point for fixing this is to figure out what you want to say.
When you identify the purpose of your communication clearly, it will largely determine what you say and how you say it. When speaking with your referral partners, be very clear on the purpose and it will help the other person understand you better and act on next steps.
These barriers occur on the receiver’s end of the communication, and they typically result from ineffective listening. We hear and understand faster than we speak, and this can lead to boredom and a wandering mind when on the listening end of communication.
To combat this, simply try to listen actively to what the speaker is saying. Active listening is a communication technique that requires the listener to concentrate on what’s being said, then formulate, reflect and respond accordingly. When you engage active listening you respond in a way that makes it clear that you understand the feelings and intent of the speaker.
When speaking with your referral partners, take the time for each of you to reflect back so you know you’re both clear on how you can help the other person and the type of referrals you’re both after.
With decoding barriers, the real message is not fully grasped or translated because of misperceptions, misinterpretations or missing information.
The most common problem here is with mismatched non-verbal communication. A lot of non-verbal communication is unconscious – meaning that the sender isn’t aware of the messages he or she is sending, yet these messages can reveal a great deal of someone’s true thoughts.
If you can learn to understand people’s non-verbal communication, you can improve your people skills significantly.
Knowing the most common types of communication stumbling blocks will help raise your own awareness on both the speaking and receiving end. Improve the effectiveness of your partnerships by combating the stumbling blocks you struggle with the most.