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Communication is key when living in a condo community. Board members and residents must use effective communication. However, when communities are diverse, language barriers are a common occurrence. Language barriers include more than a person’s language of origin.
Barriers span from unfamiliar and complex terminology to linguistics and physical barriers to state of mind. To communicate more effectively members of the boards of directors in condos should understand and differentiate among the types of barriers.
Understanding things from a listener’s standpoint allows you to overcome challenges related to language nuances. Here we explain language barriers in condos with helpful strategies to communicate more effectively.
Types of Language Barriers in Condos
As mentioned, language barriers come in many forms. The most common language barriers in condos include:
How a message is sent and received is at the root of communication barriers. Interpersonal communication is key`. It is easy for someone to choose the wrong words, or for the listener to misunderstand a speaker’s intent. Some common communication barriers created by speakers include:
• Choosing over-complicated words
• Using unfamiliar terms or industry jargon
• Emotional barriers
• Using taboos
On the listener’s side issues include:
• Lack of attention
• Lack of interest
• A feeling information is irrelevant
Differences in perception and viewpoints also cause communication barriers.
Unfamiliar Language or Accent Barriers
Speaking a different language or with an accent can lead to stereotyping. However, it also provides a basic inability to fully comprehend what someone is saying.
Social interaction varies from culture to culture. Cultural barriers include age, social groups, religion, sexual orientation, and countries of origin. Causes range from infringing on personal space to using unacceptable terms.
State of mind influences a person’s ability to communicate effectively. Something as simple as stress puts pressure on conversations as stress causes distraction. Emotions such as anger, also affect a person’s ability to communicate. It can distort what someone hears, but anger also causes people to speak without thinking. Other psychological issues include poor self-esteem that makes it hard for someone to voice concerns. It might cause someone to hear sub-text that warps their interpretation of a message. This leads to misunderstandings.
Physiological barriers relate to hearing challenges. Someone hard of hearing can mishear conversations or miss out on becoming part of a group conversation.
Today this type of barrier is easier to overcome. Geographic distance doesn’t pose as much of a challenge thanks to technology. However, there are pros and cons to the use of technology which must be considered. Therefore, choosing the right channel of communication is key.
Communication can suffer when behaviors or perceptions stop people from communicating effectively. This can be due to several factors including:
• Personality conflicts
• Poor management
• Resistance to change
• Lack of motivation
• Poor morale
• Biases and prejudices
These diverse attitudes can create animosity when people are unable to overcome their differences.
Overcoming Language Barriers in Condos
Here are ways to become a more effective communicator to overcome language barriers:
Practice Active Listening
Active listening is a soft skill practiced by effective communicators. It requires total concentration on the person speaking to you. You must listen to what someone says, not just hear words. Use open body language to show interest. Smiling, eye contact, and properly timed nodding indicate engagement. Asking questions also communicates interest. Repeating back information ensures you understood the speaker’s message.
Use Simple Language
This is the best way to ensure your message is understood. When you throw in jargon, difficult words and language that is too complicated, it increases risk someone won’t understand. It also intimates people which leads to resentment. Pause and ask questions to ensure your message is understood. Always end important conversations or instructions by asking if the listener(s) has questions.
Provide Constructive Feedback
Conversations require two-way communication. Feedback ensures the communication chain remains clear. Always provide constructive feedback to avoid insulting or offending someone. If feedback must be negative, choose your words carefully. Include active listening to strengthen the relationship and enhance communication.
Empathy allows you to consider another person’s feelings and emotions. You can remain empathetic using these tips:
• Respect people’s feelings and attitudes
• Practice active listening skills
• Ask questions to encourage others to contribute
• Respect the right to others’ privacy
• Use open body language
• Adopt an encouraging vocal tone
• Consider other people’s fears and concerns
• Avoid offering unsolicited advice
• Don’t place blame, instead offer solutions
Using empathy helps overcome language barriers.
Language barriers in condos pose communication challenges just like in any other environment. When you try to show respect to others, you can greatly improve communication. Better communication avoids conflict and creates a collaborative environment to better represent your community.
The team at CPO Management are expert communicators. We can help you improve communication to create a more effective condo board and a more effective and tightly need community. Reach out to our team today.