Effective communication

We say one thing, the other person hears something else, and misunderstandings, frustration and conlficts ensue. This can be due to the process as described in the figure. The other person might encode decode your message differently. There are several barriers to effective communication.

Communication Process

Barriers to Effective Communication

Stress and Out-Of-Control emotion
When you are overwhelmed or emotionally you are more likely to misread other people and send confusing nonverbal signals. Take a moment to calm down.

Lack of Focus
When you are multitasking it is hard to communicate. Plan what you are going to say next. Stay focused on the current situation.

Inconsistent Body Language
Your nonverbal communication should reinforce what is being said, not contradict. An example is when you say "yes", but shake your head "no". This can be confusing to others.

Negative Body Language
Crossing arms, avoiding eye contact and tapping your feet can indicate negative body language. Although you disagree with others, but this is a rather defensive way of sending negative signals. Try to talk about it with the other person. 

The article provides many tips how to improve you effective communication skills, such as active listening, paying attention to nonverbal signals and keeping your stress in check.