communication barrier

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Communication Barrier #7: Habit

The first step in changing any behavior is to become aware of it

communication barrier habitWhile developing effective communication skills, many of us realize that we have learned defensive or offensive communication practices that we are unaware of.

These communication habits often cause communicators to defend against non-existent attacks. Communication habits are not only automatic, but often unconscious, which makes them all the more difficult to change.

The SpeakStrong Method

  • identifies individual, relational and organizational communication cultures and the communication habits that make up those cultures.
  • provides communication standards to aspire to, to make existing habits apparent by contrast.
  • provides tools and skills to find alternative ways to communicate so when you abandon a bad habit, you have a skill to replace it with. 

Communication Barrier #6: Impatience

The SpeakStrong Method addresses long-term and immediate communication needs

communication barrier 6Impatience and a desire for quick fixes can be a barrier for long-term communication development. The development of effective communication skills takes time, and rushing the process can inhibit experimentation with new communication tools and approaches.

The SpeakStrong Method addresses immediate communication needs by providing powerful phrases and formulas that can be applied immediately and ease the sense of urgency while the skills develop.

The main focus of The SpeakStrong Method is long-term communication development, with continuous improvement at every step.

Communication Barrier #5: Perfectionism

The SpeakStrong Method puts perfection in its place

communication barrier perfectionismPerfectionism assumes a single right answer and evaluates expressions and input based on whether they stand as the perfect view or explanation. This inhibits creative communication by critically evaluating undeveloped expressions.

Life is messy sometimes, and it’s those who are willing and able to wade through the messiness who have the breakthroughs that make a difference.

The SpeakStrong Method respects process as much as outcome, and honors even ineffective attempts to communicate at greater levels of authenticity, clarity and sincerity. It uses failed attempts at communication as learning opportunities for the next communication endeavor.

Perfection has its place – as a vision to strive for. Imperfection has its place as well – as a stepping stone toward the next level of authentic expression and understanding.

The SpeakStrong Method puts perfection in its place. 

Communication Barrier #4: Abdication to external authority

The SpeakStrong Method empowers your personal authority

communication barrier 4We receive extensive conditioning to believe that there is a single right answer to every question, and to abdicate to the “voice of (external) authority“. When our own perception and reason contradict what we are told, our subjective observations and experiences are too often negated rather than considered and integrated.

This leads, not only to withholding communication, but refraining from even considering what our own perception and reason tell us. Many people have become so skilled at supporting “consensus reality” that they don’t even know what they think, feel and want.

This dynamic is changing, in many ways due to global competition, Gen X and social media, but needs to change more quickly to keep up with the pace of business today.

The SpeakStrong Method differentiates between declarative communication that affirms a single right answer, and generative communication that allows room for alternative views and the surfacing of data and ideas that don’t align with a dominant theory.

This empowers people to give voice to their own perceptions, which adds to the collective knowledge.

Communication Barrier #3: Fear

How does fear hold you back from expressing your true nature?

communication barrier fearMany people don’t speak up due to fear. Whether your current way of communicating works for you or not, at least it’s familiar.

Communicating in a new way puts you at unknown risks. While often people discover their fears are unfounded, sometimes fear of trekking into unfamiliar territory is an indication that you’re not ready to handle a situation or deal with the potential consequences.

The SpeakStrong Method respects and learns from fear, and develops new skills to move beyond fear to face the unfamiliar with a sense of adventure.

One effective antidote for fear is humor, which is one reason why I have the following “interview” with Bunny Bubbles, the “Acting Director of the Center for Lowered Expectations”.  Enjoy it! You probably know someone who communicates teh way she recommends.  


Excitement is the experience of fear at its best. Skill and experience create a sense of self-efficacy that turn the fear of communicating more authentically and potentially rocking a boat into excitement about possibilities

Communication Barrier #2: Lack of Skill

Don’t know how to communicate effectively? The SpeakStrong Method develops your skills one step at a time.

communication barrier 2 lack of skillsMany people complain of lack of effective communication skills. Even if you know where you want to go, if you don’t have a way to develop the skills to get there, you won’t know where to start.

The SpeakStrong Method develops skill with every step along the path. We’ve all built up our systems of defenses and manipulations for reasons that made sense to us on some level. If we drop our habit or patterns without new skills to replace them we’re unlikely to get the response we’re really going for. Our best efforts to elevate a conversation or communicate authentically will fall flat or even backfire.

The experience of skill development through practice empowers the learner with each successive step.