Communication Breakdown


Why is it so difficult to maintain a reasonable level of communication all the time.
I guess it is a talent that comes in handy in a difficult situations. Most politicians might be masters in this art. There is no more important a skill than being able to communicate effectively inspite of continuous criticisms and outright antagonism.

The idea to post about this topic came to mind after reading another post in HRM today

A big factor in communication break down is our desire to avoid confrontation. Ironical that the very thing that we try to avoid using this strategy creates a much bigger situation – which invariably ends up doing greater damage.

But, how does one confront an employee with news of consistent bad performance.
Especially if the employee has given good performance at an earlier time. These are situations one wishes not to face.

Relationships are complex – and people take their work very personally. If someone with experience gets told that he is not upto the mark – it invariably gets mixed up with perceptions. The individual raises his defenses and refutes all feedback as some kind of cooked up story.

And sometimes breakdown in communication is what brings about this situation. Over a period of time barriers keep coming up. Feedback keeps getting progressively reduced. One reason is that as the barriers come up – any message has to pass through a greater number of layers of filters. Even a simple and straight forward feedback – gets jumbled to some vicious attack on the persona.

A negative spiral sets in. Partial communication leading to mistrust further leading to a complete breakdown and a stalemate.

How does one get out of such a situation ?

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