How to Overcome the Most Common Barriers to Listening Effectively in the Workplace

How to Overcome the Most Common Barriers to Listening Effectively in the Workplace

When it comes to communication, listening actively is a very vital aspect. In the fast-paced world we live in, most people just don’t have the patience or the desire to listen to what others have to say. Most people are just too involved in themselves and their own thoughts and rarely ever pay attention to people they work with.


However, there is no doubt about the fact that listening is extremely important. It helps you gain complete information, which in turn, reduces the possibility of misinterpreting and misunderstanding things. If you are a small business owner, this becomes all the more important.


The barriers


In fact, if you listen well, you will find that you are also able to work much better with others and your employees will also respond to you in a much better way. There are a number of barriers to this skill, such as:




People are highly addicted to their mobile phones and other mobile devices. It's almost impossible for most people to carry out even a short conversation without compulsively glancing at their phones. Not only is this insulting to the person you are having a conversation with, but you will also end up missing important information/points that you might require in the future.


Whenever you are conversing with anyone, it's important that you keep all these distractions away & then focus on the person you are talking to. This will ensure you have complete information and that you're communicating well with your subordinates or colleagues




This is another major barrier. If you are trying to speak with your employee in a very loud environment, that can be very ineffective. In fact, when you are having a one-on-one conversation with any of your staff members, its best to have that conversation in a quiet meeting room.




Regardless of who you are talking to; if you interrupt the person, or over-talk someone, it becomes a barrier to effective listening. It's important that you let the person complete what he or she has to say before you interject or say what you were planning to. When you interrupt people, it means you aren't listening to what they are saying and you are only thinking about what your response will be. That isn't really conducive to communicating effectively.




If you hold prejudices in your mind or are judgemental, you will end up having a jaded view about those you are interacting with. You will end up overlooking valuable information and may miss out on connecting with good people. It's also very important that you don't discriminate between your employees. If you indicate that someone is better than the other, that prejudice can hamper your communication with the person.


Effective communication will benefit you


As a person who runs a business, you have to interact with people of different personalities and mentalities. Your strength as a leader lies in your ability to work in a cohesive manner with all your employees. Make a conscious effort to get rid of these barriers to communication and you will find that you will be able to deal with your employees in a much more effective way.


About the Author


Ben Fewtrell is a sought-after Business Coach, Keynote Speaker and trainer who has featured in Virgin’s Inflight Magazine and Entertainment Portal, SKY Business and “Secrets of Top Business Builders Exposed”. He is also the host of the popular Business Brain Food Podcast where he interviews leading experts on anything and everything business.

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