12 Road Blocks to Communication

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Ordering, Directing, or Commanding
This is an attempt to change the team member's actions by telling them what they should be doing or how you expect them to act in the situation. This kind of response limits a team member's ability to talk through the problem; possibly preventing them from turning to you for assistance in the future.

Some examples of this type of roadblock include:
You must (or must not) do this.
I expect you to do this.
Stop worrying about that.
Warning, Admonishing, or Threatening
This type of response is intended to change the team member's response to a situation through instilling fear or helplessness. This type of motivation has long been proven to have the adverse effect.

Some examples of this include:
You had better do this, or else...
You had better not even try that.
If you don't do this, then...
Moralizing, Preaching, or Imploring
While this response is not as negative as the previous examples, this is still a barrier for the team member, as it does not acknowledge the original problem they may have had with the task. Instead of problem solving together, the ball is thrown back into their court, with an added ounce of pressure.

Examples of this are:
You should do it.
Just try it.
This is your responsibility/duty.
I wish you would do this.
I urge you to do this.
Advising, Giving Suggestions, or Solutions
This type of response is probably the most knee-jerk response and probably the hardest to understand why it is a roadblock. Taking away the power of problem solving from the team member does not assist in future problems or tasks.

Examples include:
Here's what I think you should do...
Let me suggest...
Here's the best solution...
Using logic, Lecturing, or Arguing
While logic is an ideal tool in solving problems, when it is used to block communication it becomes a roadblock to effective leadership. It often makes the one with the problem feel inferior, or inadequate by sending messages of...
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