Workplace Communication – How to Fight Through Barriers


You might be thinking that communication between two individuals is simple. But, it’s not so easy. Sometimes people go wrong while they are communicating. And, barriers to workplace communication can lead to co-worker alienation, arguments and misunderstandings. So, we need to overcome those barriers. There are seven types of barriers to effective communication.

1. Perceptual Barriers
2. Physical Barriers
3. Language Barriers
4. Emotional barriers
5. Physiological Barriers
6. Psychological Barriers
7. Cultural barriers

Here we have explained all the above mentioned barriers in workplace communication and how to overcome them:

1. Perceptual Barriers: Employees usually grow to perceive things in particular ways, thus, making it difficult to recognize new meanings. Every employee has his/her interests and values that prevent them to perceive an event in the same way. Therefore, due to invalid perceptions, employees recommend incorrect solutions. Education and intelligence affect everybody’s perceptions, along with an individual’s physiological, social and safety needs.

2. Physical Barriers: These are environmental elements that affect an employee’s ability to acquire or convey information. For example: loud talking, construction noises, etc. Also, the speaker’s appearance and manners affect his ability to convey his message to an audience. The listener’s seating arrangements and their physical comfort level also affect communication, since sitting in the back row of a large auditorium may prevent a listener from hearing the full presentation.

3. Language Barriers: Some words have different meanings for different people that makes the communication difficult. For example, an attorney may hear the word ‘trust’ and think of real property held by one party for another and a security engineer may relate ‘trust’ to the integrity of a computer system. Incorrect pronunciation, faulty grammar, complex sentences and spelling may also confuse listeners.

4. Emotional Barriers: These barriers can be difficult to overcome, but are important to put aside to engage in conversations. People often pick up on insecurity. So, have full confidence in what you are saying and your qualifications in saying it. By this, you will be able to communicate clearly without becoming overly involved in your emotions.

5. Physiological Barriers: There are the characteristics of the speaker or listener that interfere with the transmission or reception of information. For example, sleepiness may affect an employee’s concentration. Other issues like emotional distress, hunger, physical pain, depression and fatigue may also affect communication solutions.

6. Psychological Barriers: A negative attitude also influences an employee’s receptive to a message. For example, if an employee attends an ‘all-hands’ meeting regarding a company’s bankruptcy, his/her anger or fear may misinterpret the speaker’s message.

7. Cultural Barriers: These are the results of living in an ever shrinking world. Different cultures can hinder developed communication. So, it is important to find a common ground to work from. To find the communication solutions for this barrier in the workplace, identify a problem and come up with a highly efficient way to solve it.

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The New World of Page Ranking

29 Jul 2013 – Tina Courtney-Brown – Featured –

PoD_PageRank (Custom)

Google, and search engines in general, used to act as a one-size-fits-all format. If person A and person B both searched for “best chocolate in the world,” it used to be both individuals would see the same list of rankings. Now we live in a world of customization, where Google’s results reflect not just the search terms and keywords used, but the complex personalization derived from a given user’s full interaction with the suite of Google products. Since Google, and search engines in general, are truly trying to give searchers exactly what they want, the process has seen a genesis of customization. One-size-fits-all no longer applies.

If your sole focus as a company investing in SEO is to see a high Google page rank, stop the obsession – now. High rankings don’t equate to a stellar business profile; revenues do. And now that page rankings are becoming varied, it’s much less reliable to equate a high ranking to full-scale success. So putting all your eggs in one proverbial basket is not only risky, it’s now completely illogical.

What should you focus on? Quality traffic, quality content, and a quality user experience. Yes, rankings factor in here, there’s no doubt about it, but it isn’t a means to an end. Quality is. That’s what will keep users returning, again and again. And since not all of your visitors are likely sent via a search engine, it’s time to consider the whole enchilada, and stop worrying about what Google might think.

The Role of Customized Search Results

Let’s say I’m an employee at a place called Company SEO. It’s safe to say I’m probably visiting that company’s web site often, and using related search terms on a frequent basis. If I do so while logged in to my Gmail account, or any other Google tool, this correlation begins to become apparent. It’s therefore more likely that if I search for a keyword or term targeted by Company SEO, I will see its results rank higher, as Google has correctly determined I am interested in what that company/author has to say.

Google’s results cannot be quantified in any meaningful manner. We’re seeing fewer and fewer ranking reports as a result. The rankings you see in any given search are not just based on the keywords — Google also incorporates your location, service provider, previous search history, and various other personal factors. Since we can’t predict a given user’s customization, it’s crazy these days to fully focus on a high SEO ranking.

Anyone who has traveled recently can attest to this shift. Search for “best chocolate in the world” in San Francisco and you’ll see a different set of results than if you’re traveling in Sweden. The point is, you can’t control rankings in the way we’d all like to anymore, so it’s time to shift focus.


Make Traffic and Conversions Your Top Priorities

This is not a call for all to give up the SEO game. It’s just a matter of adjusting how you approach the goals. By moving your emphasis to quality and consistency, you’ll still be aiming for the highest rankings, but in a manner that will yield better results.

Traffic and conversion rates are your best SEO friends, because they make the most of whatever ranking you are currently achieving. The more you capitalize on your traffic, the more retention and loyalty you’ll achieve, and customers will keep coming back. For instance, a site with high page rankings won’t maintain that status for long if they develop a high bounce rate. You can send 10,000 visitors to your site per day via Google, but if you can’t convert those into revenue generating visits, the eyeballs are costing you cash, not the other way around.


Generate Quality Traffic

As with everything in this world, quality trumps quantity. What you’re after are targeted links and referrals full of visitors that are truly after what you offer. Your marketing strategy no doubt contains a myriad of efforts to generate these quality visits. To really be a player in SEO these days, these campaigns should involve the following:

  • Organic search
  • Paid search
  • External links, from articles, bloggers, news sites, etc.
  • Press releases and other PR efforts
  • Social signals from Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, etc.
  • Local map listings
  • Online advertising
  • Direct traffic via offline strategies

Yes, organic search still sits at the top of the list above, but if it’s your sole focus, you’ll definitely waste your efforts. Failure to consider the other factors means you’ll experience just a smidgen of your potential success.

Pay attention to your analytics so you can understand where your site is succeeding and failing with regards to visits and conversions. Ascertain where the bulk of your traffic truly comes from (here’s a clue: it’s not always from Google) and adjust the list above accordingly. It may be that local listings or even offline strategies trump search in terms of what works best for your specific needs.

The point is simple: in the last few years, page rankings have become the Holy Grail, and it’s time to stop obsessing over a top page ranking. You can’t begin to control rankings from a personalization perspective, so stop losing sleep over your own ranking ebbs and flows. Instead, focus on the data you can control – namely traffic and conversions. If you’re aces at converting high percentages of your site’s visitors, you’re on a winning streak. It’s not a matter of being #1 for a search term, but in making your customers and visitors happy.

Official Google information: what to expect from Google in the coming months

14 May 2013 – André Voget – Featured –

Spammers beware! This summer, Google is going after black-hat and link spammers. In a video on YouTube, Google’s Matt Cutts announced 9 things that Google will do within the next months. How do these changes affect the position of your web pages in Google’s search results and what can you do to protect your rankings?


1. There will be more Penguin updates

Google is going to launch the next generation of the Penguin algorithm within the next few weeks. The Penguin 2.0 update will go deeper than the first Penguin version and it will affect a lot more sites.

The Penguin update targets websites that use spam tools to create backlinks. If you’re using tools that automatically create backlinks to your site, stop using them now. If any tool that you use contains the words “nuke”, “dominator” or “brute force” then it’s likely that your website will be affected by the next Penguin update.

2. Google does not like advertorials

Some websites use advertorials to get more backlinks. Matt Cutts said that non-nofollow links from these advertorials violate Google’s webmaster guidelines. If you purchase advertorials just to get backlinks, this might have a negative influence on your Google rankings.

3. Google will take a closer look at spammy queries

Some search queries such as ‘pay day loans’ tend to attract more spam than other queries. Google’s search spam team will take a closer look at these queries.

4. Link networks might get in trouble

Matt Cutts said that Google is going to go “more upstream” to make sure that some kind of links become less attractive. This probably affects link networks. Google has penalized several link networks in the past.

5. Google is going to analyze backlinks better

Matt Cutts also said that Google is in the early stages of a much more sophisticated link analysis software that will understand backlinks much better. That probably means that the influence of forum profile links might become even lower while the value of editorial links increases.

6. Better handling of hacked sites

Google is working on a better system to detect hacked sites. The new system should be available later this year. Google also wants to improve webmaster communication about hacked sites.

7. Authority websites will get a ranking boost

Google plans to give websites that are an authority in their category a ranking boost. For example, if your website is an authority in the medical space, Google plans to show your website above websites that are not as authoritative as your site.

8. The Panda update becomes less strict

Matt Cutts said that many of the websites that were affected by the Panda update were border cases. Google is looking at other quality metrics that enables them to make sure that these websites aren’t impacted by the Panda algorithm. The Panda algorithm targets websites with low-quality content.

9. Less domain clusters

Matt Cutts said that the number of same domain clusters on Google’s first result page should lessen this year. Google wants to make the results on page one more diverse. The second result page might contain more domain clusters.
What does this mean for your website?

At the end of the video, Matt Cutts explains that Google wants to reduce the number of webmasters who use black-hat spam techniques. Smaller businesses that use white-hat SEO methods should rank better.

If you want to make sure that your website rankings are safe, avoid spammy SEO methods at all costs. You can get short-term results with black-hat SEO tools but your website will be penalized as soon as Googles detects the spam.

Embedding MailChimp Archive into a Google Site for NPO

19 Mar 2013 – Grant Dickson



As part of my annual CSR, I volunteer to a Non Profit High School Parents Teachers Association (PTA)  and perform some IT related tasks for them – one recent task was to build a Google site for them (it’s free) that would allow PTA members to edit, update and inform parents on the fly about what they’re up to.  The site included a public Google calendar (it’s free) and pages about initiatives the PTA is currently undertaking.


To compliment the free Google site, I also created and setup a free MailChimp account with Campaign templates, subscription and response forms etc, which allows the PTA to send up to 2000 emails in a single day, to an active contact list of up to 2500 Parents & Caregivers – and up to 12,000 emails in a month… a pretty amazing FREE service I think for a small Non Profit Organisation (or even SME !) .


I wanted to embed and display the contents of a MailChimp Archive folder of Email Campaigns previously sent to parents on the PTA Google Site, HOWEVER this typically requires embedding a Javascript, (provided by MailChimp) into a website page ….. something that Google Sites does not allow!  After some investigations I generated a simple solution – I created a customised Google Gadget – which takes about 1 minute to make and can be completed by ANYONE who can copy and paste.  Here’s a Step by Step guide on How to Embed a MailChimp Archive folder into a Google Site.


Embedding MailChimp Archive to a Google Site

To display a MailChimp Archive folder on a Google site requires making a custom Google Gadget that contains the MailChimp Javascript – there is no other way around it, however it’s super simple and here’s how.


Gadgets are small HTML and JavaScript applications that offer cool and dynamic content that can be placed on any page on the web. Gadgets are written in a module language using XML that wraps HTML and JavaScript. To add gadgets to your Google Site page click Edit page ? Insert ? More gadgets ? Public and look for them through the Google gadgets directory.

Here’s how to create a Google Gadget that will display the contents of a MailChimp Archive Folders on your Google Site :

Create your Google Gadget:

  • Replace Hello, world! on line 6 with the MailChimps Folder Archive Code – E.g.:

<style type=”text/css”>


.display_archive {font-family: arial,verdana; font-size: 12px;}

.campaign {line-height: 125%; margin: 5px;}



<script language=”javascript” src=”″ type=”text/javascript”></script>

    • Note: A common mistake to avoid is replacing the whole GGE code with yours – only replace Hello World.
  • Click the File menu ? Save As ? enter a new file name, e.g. your-gadget.xml ? click OK.
  • Right-click on the gadget File Name, which is at the top-right corner of GGE, and copy its Link / URL. For example:
  • Get back to your Google Site ? click Edit page ? Insert ? More gadgets ? Add gadget by URL
  • PASTE your newly created Gadgets URL / Link copied from the GGE Page
  • Click ? Add
  • Customize the gadget width and height (i.e 850px x 800px), Scroll bar options etc Click ? OK
  • ? Save your Google Site page and your MailChimp Folder archive list will be displayed.



Importance of Team and Team Work – iMA Can Help

Blue 3d People Working Together To Hold Colorful Pieces Of A Jig

Teams are formed when individuals with a common taste, preference, liking, and attitude come and work together for a common goal. Teams play a very important role in organisations as well as our personal lives.
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success-Henry Ford”
The above proverb by Henry Ford can very well highlight the importance of working together in teams.
Every employee is dependent on his fellow employees to work together and contribute efficiently to the organisation. No employee can work alone; he has to take the help of his colleagues to accomplish the tasks efficiently. It has been observed that the outcome comes out to be far better when employees work in a team rather than individually as every individual can contribute in his best possible way. In organisations, individuals having a similar interest and specialisations come together on a common platform and form a team.

A sales team has employees inclined towards branding and marketing activities to promote their brand. An individual with a human resource specialisation would be out of place in such a team. Research supports that organisations with clearly defined teams are more successful as compared to those with a one man show.

Team work is essential in corporates for better output and a better bonding among employees.

  • No organisation runs for charity. Targets must be met and revenues have to be generated. Tasks must not be kept pending for a long time and ought to be completed within the desired timeframe. A single brain can’t always come with solutions or take decisions alone. He needs someone with whom he can discuss his ideas. In a team, every team member has an equal contribution and each team member comes out with a solution best suited to the problem. All the alternatives can be explored to come out with the best possible solution. Thoughts can be discussed among the team members and the pros and cons can be evaluated.
  • Tasks are accomplished at a faster pace when it is done by a team rather than an individual. An individual will definitely take more time to perform if he is single handedly responsible for everything. When employees work together, they start helping each other and responsibilities are shared and thus it reduces the work load and work pressure. Every team member is assigned one or the other responsibility according to his specialisation, level of interest and thus the output is much more efficient and faster.
  • Work never suffers or takes a backseat in a team. Mike was taking care of an important client and was the only one coordinating with them. Mike took a long leave and there was no one else who could handle the client in his absence. When he joined back after a long vacation, the organisation had already lost the client. Had Mike worked in a team, others could have taken the charge when he was not there. In a team, the other team members can perform and manage the work in the absence of any member and hence work is not affected much.
  • There is always a healthy competition among the team members. Competition is always good for the employee as well as the organisation as every individual feels motivated to perform better than his other team member and in a way contributing to his team and the organisation.
  • Team work is also important to improve the relations among the employees. Individuals work in close coordination with each other and thus come to know each other better. Team work also reduces the chances of unnecessary conflicts among the employees and every individual tries his level best to support his team member. The level of bonding increases as a result of team work.
  •  Team members can also gain from each other. Every individual is different and has some qualities. One can always benefit something or the other from his team members which would help him in the long run. Everyone is hungry for recognitions and praises. One feels motivated to work hard in a team and to live up to the expectations of the other members. Each member is a critic of the other and can correct him whenever the other person is wrong. One always has someone to fall back on at the time of crisis.

Team and team work must be encouraged at workplace as it strengthens the bond among the employees and the targets can be met at a faster pace. Workload is shared and individuals feel motivated to perform better than his team members.


Needing to improve your Team Engagement?

Getting the best from teams and effective team working is key to your success as a Leader and business. The challenge is to adapt your thinking, communication and style to leverage the potential of teams.  At PlusOne Dynamics we invite you to complete our free iMA Questionnaire,it will only take 2 minutes and will reveal your preferred communication style as a successful Leader / Manager plus how you can communicate effectively with your team while enhancing the connectivity, productivity and engagement of your staff. An iMA Audit or Workshop at your next Team Building event or session will greatly enhance the connectivity and performance of your team and have them motivated to engage in your business direction.

iMA is an exciting universal language, designed to maximise connectivity: mutual liking, trust, understanding and respect. Everyone speaks one of four iMA dialects, putting them on the same wavelength as 25% of the world’s population.  iMA is a simple way of observing and understanding the differences in people, then connecting with them on their wavelength. When this happens communication, trust, understanding, co-operation and sales increase, and stress and tension decrease.
I stands for Identify your iMA colour style and that of the person you want to connect with.
M stands for Modify your message by encoding it in a way that is most likely to be understood.
A is Adapt the way you treat one person vs. another.

Review our iMA Services here, and consider a PlusOne Dynamics iMA Workshop for your next team building event.

To become an even better Leader we invite you to download our PlusOne Dynamics free e-book – “12 Cs of Building a Team that Works“, you will gain valuable insight into to how you can grow and build your team using effective communication and contexts. This FREE e-Book provides a simple “answer these questions” guide surrounding your team, communication and connectivity.

Download Here – No Signup required!