Communication Skill Barriers

Whether we are attorneys or not, we all have what it takes to communicate effectively. Either we were born with the skills or we learned (directly or indirectly) what it takes to develop relationships and influence. On the contrary, we all have what it takes to hold ourselves back from communicating well, whether in public speaking, interpersonal effectiveness or intrapersonal (self-talk) effectiveness. It’s from this platform of barriers that we most often make judgements about our effectiveness. And often we feel ineffective. The good news is, we can break down those barriers.

Here are a few things to keep in mind regarding barriers.

Communication Skill Barriers

  1. Lack of emotional intelligence. Our ability to acquire and apply knowledge from our emotions and the emotions of others give us intelligence, emotionally. We can use the information about what we are feeling to help us make effective decisions about what to say or do (or not say or do) next. There are 5 competencies the emotionally intelligent individuals work on to keep them effective. These individuals choose to do what they can on their own, in their own time to develop the competencies, or some use a coach (such as me) to develop them.
  2. Controlled by attitudes that hold us back. There are 12 common behavior/attitude patterns that hold back good people. (If you click on the 12 link, you can receive the list, after subscribing to my newsletter.) These are patterns that we fall into when we face any of the following 3 circumstances: we think our listener(s) have a difference of opinion, our emotions are negatively engaged, and/or risk escalates. In any of the 3 circumstances, our ability to communicate takes a dive, unless we have developed our self-regulation skills including objectivity and empathy. Those who learn how to distance themselves from these patterns during the 3 key times have had great support from a neutral advisor/coach (such as me).
  3. Lack of a strategy. Not having a communication strategy refers to lacking a plan of what to say, lacking mental preparation in how to be influential and lacking practice in demonstrating the strategy. It means think before we do, yet it also means doing, and not just thinking. Quite often we are stressed in emotional times, affecting our ability to think and decide well. In these times, until we develop other habits, we must rely on others who are not affected by the emotions of the circumstance to assist us in our thinking and doing strategy. Then we create a plan of what to say and do, of how to frame our approach, and motivation to have the courage to follow through. Again, I can assist here.

Whether our most challenging pain points us to our ability to manage ourselves (emotionally, physically following through with responsibilities, or responding well to others), our ability to lead others (direct reports, team members, supervisors, clients) or our ability to  speak with confidence (to juries, judges, prospects, networking associates, clients or public speaking audiences), getting over our communication skill barriers is key to our professional development.

Now, do what it takes to get past these common barriers and then get out there and state your case.

Individual communication coaching

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