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Com 530 - Career Exploration

Autor:   •  October 8, 2017  •  1,916 Words (8 Pages)  •  256 Views

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Diversity within organizational groups continues to grow. As it grows, group members are introduced to different cultures and languages. Those who have experience in groups with members whose native language is different from their own can immediately identify with how language can be a barrier to communication. Robbins and Judge (2011) accurately offer that this can occur within one’s own language. Generational gaps, culture, and geographic location all influence the way people speak the same language. A simple example is a man from Montana offering his Wisconsin cousin a pop; only to find out she would prefer a soda. Soda or pop, in the end it is the same thing, but it is not certain that everyone knows that, and therein lies a potential language barrier within the same language.

Gender differences lends to diversity as well as potential barriers to communication. Men and women have many differences, including differences in the way they communicate. While women tend to communicate on a more personal level, men tend to communicate in an authoritative manner (Yaghmour, 2012). Such differences affect the sender and the receiver. Men and women are prone to receive and perceive messages in the manner they are prone to deliver messages.

Overcoming Barriers to Communication

In order to facilitate effective communication within your team and overcome the barriers mentioned above, you may wish to consider some of the following strategies:

- Set the example. If you expect your team to communicate effectively, you must model this behavior yourself. Your employees will be more likely to pay attention to your actions than your words. Speak clearly, listen actively, and use body language that matches your message and intent (Hills, 2013).

- Encourage team members to develop trusting relationships. People trust others because of how they have acted in the past, so new employees should be encouraged to behave in a manner in which others will view them as trustworthy. Self-disclosure can also facilitate trusting relationships. Let new team members know that sharing personal information can be effective in gaining the trust of others, but this should occur over a period of time as disclosing information too soon can make the person receiving the communication feel uncomfortable (Beebe & Masterson, 2009).

- Clarify expectations. Be specific about the expectations you have for employees in their communications with their new teammates (Hills, 2013). For example, I recently hired an employee who is very cordial in face-to-face meetings, but his email communication can be perceived as abrasive when he disagrees with how to approach a problem. As a result, I tell all new team members to make a phone call or schedule an in-person meeting if they want to challenge how a problem will be resolved.

- Observe how others communicate within the team. By paying close attention to how their team members communicate, such as their gestures, tone, tendency to interrupt others, etc., new employees may be able to modify their communication style to maximize effectiveness when dealing with each team member (Hills, 2013). Our company supports the use of personality profile testing, and all employees post the results so that their team members can determine how to best communicate with them. For example, my profile is high on “dominance” with a “creative” pattern. How someone communicates effectively with me is going to be different from how he would communicate with a person with a high “influence” profile and “perfectionist” pattern.

- Gather input from the team. By interviewing your existing team members on how they view communication within the team through the use of probing, non-threatening questions, you will be able to identify opportunities for improvement (Hills, 2013). Sharing the results of this input with new employees and encouraging them to provide input as they become more acclimated to the team will help them understand the team dynamics and feel like they have a voice.

- Identify the barriers to communication within your team and share them with all team members. By using the input you have gained from the team as well as your own observations, specifically name the barriers and share with the team so that all team members are cognizant of how they should strive to overcome the barriers (Hill, 2013). For example, if there is a language barrier and team members are aware of it, they can speak more slowly and use simple language with each other.

- Teach communication skills. Once you have identified what the specific issues are that impact effective group communication, use role playing and scenarios to compare existing behaviors with better ways to communicate.

Accepting a new position can be hard enough, especially when you are blind sided and don't know what to expect. I hope that after reading this memo you are able to better understand the five steps of group development, the barriers that may exist in group communication, and the techniques used to overcome those barriers. I hope these tips help you to get started, and I wish you nothing but success on your new journey. Congratulations again on your new job position.



Hills, L., DA. Overcoming the Ten Most Common Barriers to Effective Team Communication. The Journal of Medical Practice Management: MPM, 29(2), 99-103. Retrieved from:

Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. A. (2011). Organizational behavior (14th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson- Prentice Hall.

Tuckman, B. & Jensen, M. (1977). “Stages of Small Group Development. Group and Organizational Studies”, 2, 419-427. Retrieved from:

Yaghmour, S. (2012). Gender communication differences in synchronized distance learning lectures for users aged 18-60: A systematic literature review. Annual Review of Education, Communication & Language Sciences, 9, 1-15.


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