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What are the SEVEN BARRIERS TO COMMUNICATION and how to overcome them?

Effective communication is an essential skill in today’s world, especially in the global market. The ability to communicate fluently and confidently in English can open up a world of opportunities and unlock new possibilities for personal and professional growth. However, despite the numerous benefits of being bilingual, many Italians struggle with their English identity. They feel inadequate, limited, blocked, or unable to communicate effectively in English.

Written with love by: Suzanne Pilch, ICF Certified Coach & MPEC Partner

At MPEC, our goal is to transform this challenging relationship and guide our students to build a bilingual language identity from any level. We believe that everyone can achieve fluency and confidence in English with the right support, guidance, and coaching.

However, there are several barriers to great communication that we often encounter in our coaching sessions. In this article, we will explore the seven most common barriers to effective communication and provide tips on how to overcome them.

Fear of making mistakes:

One of the most significant barriers to effective communication is the fear of making mistakes. Many Italian students are afraid of speaking English because they worry about sounding foolish or making errors. This fear can prevent them from speaking up, participating in conversations, and building their confidence.

How to overcome this barrier?

We encourage our students to embrace their mistakes and view them as opportunities for growth. We create a safe and supportive learning environment where making mistakes is encouraged and celebrated. By reframing mistakes as valuable learning experiences, our students can overcome their fear and communicate more effectively.

Lack of Vocabulary:

Another common barrier to effective communication is a limited vocabulary. Without a wide range of words and expressions, it can be challenging to express oneself accurately and fully. This lack of vocabulary can lead to frustration, misunderstandings, and ineffective communication.

How to overcome this barrier?

We provide our students with a broad range of vocabulary-building exercises and resources. We help them learn new words in context, use them in sentences, and practice incorporating them into their daily conversations. By expanding their vocabulary, our students can communicate more effectively and confidently in English.

Active listening is an essential component of effective communication. However, many people struggle with this skill, either because they are easily distracted or because they are focused on what they want to say next. We encourage our students to focus on the speaker, pay attention to nonverbal cues, and ask clarifying questions. By learning the active listening techniques, our students can improve their communication skills and build stronger relationships.

MPEC : Engage, Not Teach.
The inability to listen actively is one of the 7 Communication Barriers

Poor Body Language

Body language is a crucial aspect of communication, and it can significantly impact how a message is received. Poor body language, such as slouching, avoiding eye contact, or fidgeting, can undermine the effectiveness of verbal communication.

To overcome this barrier, we need to develop strong body language skills. Focus on the principles of good posture, eye contact, and confident gestures. By practicing these skills, we can improve their nonverbal communication and strengthen our overall message.

Negative self-talk

Negative self-talk can be a significant barrier to effective communication. When we tell ourselves that we are not good enough or that we will never be able to speak English fluently, we create a self-fulfilling prophecy that can undermine our confidence and motivation.

How to overcome this barrier?

It may sound too good to be true, but each and every one of us can actually develop positive self-talk habits. We can learn to reframe negative thoughts into positive affirmations, such as “I am capable of learning English” or “I am making progress every day.” By changing our self-talk, we can build their confidence, motivation, and resilience, and overcome the barrier of negative thinking.

We all know that the lack of practice can be a significant barrier to effective communication.

Without regular opportunities to speak and listen to English, it can be challenging to build fluency and confidence. You need opportunities to practice your English skills.

Situations like coaching sessions, group workshops, and online resources allow you to practice speaking, listening, reading, and writing English regularly.

MPEC : Engage, Not Teach.

Lack of Cultural Awareness:

Effective communication requires an understanding of cultural differences and nuances. Without this awareness, it can be challenging to communicate effectively with people from different backgrounds.

How to overcome this barrier?

We provide our students with cultural awareness training. We teach them about different customs, values, and communication styles, and help them develop strategies for bridging cultural differences. By building their cultural awareness, our students can communicate more effectively with people from diverse backgrounds.

The bottom line is that effective communication in English is a valuable skill that can transform personal and professional opportunities. However, there are several common barriers to great communication that many Italians face. By overcoming these barriers, whether it’s fear of making mistakes, lack of vocabulary, poor body language, or negative self-talk, our students can build a bilingual language identity and communicate with fluency and confidence. At MPEC, we are committed to helping our students overcome these barriers through personalized coaching, cultural awareness, vocabulary-building exercises, and ample practice opportunities. With our support, Italian companies can master effortless communication in English, boost their competitiveness in the international market, and achieve their communication goals

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