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Breakdown in Communication: What is It and How to Deal With It

Asloob Alam

Do you know some companies don’t realize or admit they are suffering from communication breakdowns, which causes adverse outcomes like arguments between the teams leading to blame games, delays in deliveries, employees' poor performance affecting their morale, the noxious surge of customer complaints, and so on?


The grievous problem is about the companies that don’t realize the breakdown in communication. They falsely believe they are pursuing their operations with incompetent employees, clouding the fact that effective communication can make those incompetent employees competent.


I want to remind you of Nicholas Ling's famous phrase, "Ignorance is a voluntary disaster," in case you or your company decide not to avoid communication breakdowns revealing your blatant ignorance.


If you want to avoid such breakdowns and boost your workplace communication, consider leveraging a WhatsApp shared inbox. Please read the preceding content.

What is Workplace Communication?

Generally, communication is the act or process of two or more people sharing or exchanging thoughts, emotions, knowledge, and experiences. Letting you express your needs and experiences fosters interpersonal connections and aids in relationship building. The fundamental requirement for existence is the capacity for thought, information, and emotional expression.


While workplace communication is a self-explanatory word that explains communication between employees or teams within an organization, the verbal and non-verbal exchange of ideas and information, emails, notes, chat, audio and video calls, file exchanges via workplace collaboration tools, and other means are all included.


To achieve operational excellence, it is crucial to establish effective communication that results in getting the job done, building trust, strengthening team collaboration, and boosting work productivity.

What is digital communication?

Digital communication in the workplace transmits information from one employee to another using digital devices: chat, video/ audio calls, conferences like business meetings, file exchange, and others.


Digital communication evolved alongside the digital era. In today's world, every company, business type, corporation, including a startup uses instant messaging apps for seamless communication. It is hard to envision any company without these communication tools; if so, they will be considered obsolete.


Amid the pandemic, if few companies could continue their operations, it is because of their established communication standards and team chat apps.

What is Communication Breakdown?

Communication breakdown can be generalized as poor communication, specifically, the failure to exchange information. If it occurs, the whole operations in the company will undoubtedly go haywire since every employee works on assumptions or misinterpretations going in their direction.

What are the causes of breakdowns in communication?

Breakdown in communication extends to misunderstandings or incorrect assumptions, time consumption on trivial tasks, delayed deliveries, indecisive decision-making, low productivity, and others.


As was previously established, breakdowns aren't always the result of underwhelming teamwork. There are other causes, including:

 

  • The cold war between the teammates.
  • The rivalry between teams.
  • Disagreement between teams and management.
  • Toxic work culture.
  • Team members work as individuals instead of contributing as a team.
  • Encouraging incompetent members and sycophants and preventing the development of competent ones in the guise of favoritism.
  • No feedback system, and others.

 

How to deal with Communication Breakdown?

A communication breakdown is not a butterfly effect; it is a disaster if you initiate or neglect to establish the communication standards or do not follow them.

Employee Relations

A company's responsibility entails more than just handling clients, delivering services, and paying its employees. It has to consider allowing the employees to maintain healthy relations among themselves that eventually result in a pleasant workplace atmosphere. Otherwise, team members will become resilient, prioritizing their self-indulgence to promote themselves as individuals rather than team players.


You should host fun events and use occasions to clear the animosity or break the ice between them. Once communication between employees happens seamlessly, they learn to work as a team towards a common goal. You can see pleasant outcomes like their skills will enhance, improve communication, and boost productivity.

Language Barrier

Everybody interacts and exchanges information with people in a unique way, and they all have distinct forms of communicating with them. And only some employees are fluent in the language you use at work, for instance, English. Excusing their errors can help them learn from their mistakes and speak more effectively. It increases their loyalty and morale and eliminates the communication barriers between employees, establishing positive communication in your workplace.


In other cases, employees come from different cultures and backgrounds and may not comply with the company work culture with immediate effect. So, training them more effectively and guiding the organization's workplace culture is essential.

Establish Communication Standards

It may be time-consuming to conduct a poll or interact with managers and team members on one. Still, once you identify and eliminate the obstacles, you can experience the ideal workplace.


Apprise your teams of how they can communicate, create some communication standards that anybody can use to have more fruitful conversations, and ensure you have their acknowledgment so no one can violate them; they must be legitimate., and take practical measures to manage and prevent workplace communication challenges.

Employ Efficient Communication Tools

This is the element that is required to be given high priority. Let us assume you have a perfect team, but when you are equipped with mediocre tools, it will create a communication breakdown. Hence, it is essential to employ efficient tools that eliminate latency issues and allow you to perform multiple tasks like Troop Messenger.

Training

You certainly arrange training sessions to improve your team members' skill levels. Over time, communication failures can be reduced by giving interpersonal skills training equal priority at all organizational levels and educating team members on the optimal feedback method.


Since these training sessions include mock scenarios that need cooperation between numerous team members, they will serve as a chance for your teams to communicate with one another.

Communicate the Expectations

Even if your organization doubts your team's productivity, you should never disclose it to your team because it will undermine the team's spirit. Never micromanage a team; it is the biggest demotivation. Have faith in your team, give them additional work, and hold them responsible. Consequently, they will feel more accountable, and your trust will remain. Wherever your skills and direction are needed, assist your team.


Provide no room for misunderstanding by accurately communicating the expectations. Discuss with your team how crucial it is to live up to expectations and the positive impact it can have on management's perspective.

Be a Leader

When you start seeing positions like the manager or team leader as power instead of responsibility, your acts inadvertently intimidate the team and compel them to follow your orders, demonstrating the instilling of herd mentality. Consequently, it will create an irrepressible communication breakdown between you and your team since they won’t find you approachable to discuss their views and issues, making you a tyrant. In contrast, your designation is supposed to educate your team about the company’s decisions, discuss pain points, amend them if it is genuine, and implement them.


Anthropology states that any group will not see you as a leader unless you are empathetic. Remember to make decisions with your teams' acknowledgment; they will start seeing it as guidance. Working closely with your team will give you an advantage of knowing them better, their skills, and their issues, which brings you to a position to analyze your teams' abilities and enhance their skills, instantly resulting in work productivity.

Conclusion

Acting promptly is the best response to the communication breakdown. Even though you created communication standards for your company, team members may still deviate from them. Therefore continue to audit them weekly or monthly to find every possible cause of the breakdown in communication. But remember, when in an organization there is trust, communication will happen more effectively.

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