Why Communication Breaks Down

When I was a kid my friends and I would play a game where we would go underwater and try to talk to one another.  Most times it would turn into a shouting match because it was hard to hear and talk.  It’s a basic fact talking underwater is not easy…unless you are a fish.  Often times in this blog I talk about how we can communicate clearly and how effective communication can impact your ministry, but before any of those can happen you need to remove these 5 things from the equation:

  • Tiredness – As stated before when you are tired you won’t communicate clearly.  Either your mind won’t process fast enough or your physical ability to communicate is deterred.
  • Stress – When we are stressed our emotions are at a high.  We might take a small thing and make it bigger than it is.  We may react to a situation in an over the top manner.
  • Busyness – When the mind is on other things, it will wander away from conversation.  Even have a discussion with someone who’s looking at a phone or a laptop?  Then you know what I mean.
  • Wrong Mediums – Sometimes a conversation isn’t meant to have over email or the phone but face to face.  Email lacks tone, phone lacks body language, without those two you can’t dive into the context of the situation.
  • Wrong Environments – Sometimes it’s okay to meet in a restaurant and sometimes it isn’t.  Your environments can set the mood of your meeting.  If you are constantly being interrupted that you can’t expect to focus.

Sometimes it’s more than learning how to communicate it’s also knowing how not to communicate.  Effective communication needs full attention and intention, without those two who knows what you are really throwing out there.

What are some other obstacles to effective communication?


How do you ensure effective communication?