Avoid these most common communication obstacles.

If you want to improve your communication skills, you need to first recognize your limits, then really think about all the things holding you back while interacting with other people.


  1. Don’t play judge.
    Do you often tell others how you think they are or how they should be?

  2. Don’t finish sentences for others.
    While talking with others, you often interrupt and practically finish the whole sentence instead of letting your interlocutor do it.

  3. Don’t be the uncle of good advice.
    Avoid playing the role of a wise sage or Oracle as often as possible. Try to lead the conversation in a way that enables your interlocutors to solve the problem by themselves.

  4. Don’t be a moralizer.
    An example of a moralizer is, “Good and honest men do not act that way!” It is the most irritating and the least effective method of communication.

  5. Don’t be “the talker.”
    Excessive talking from your side can be discouraging in the early stages of relationships.

  6. Politely interrupt when someone doesn’t let you speak.
    Polite interruption is when you interrupt and repeat the last sentence of the speaker (showing that you are interested in what they just said). For example, “So, you’re telling me these new planes can fly really high, right?”

  7. Avoid using cliché phrases when comforting others.
    First, acknowledge what this person is feeling and why; e.g., “Really?! That’s a horrible thing to have to go through!” Next, instead of using clichéd phrases, say something like, “Know that you can count on me if it ever happens to you again.”

  8. Have laser focus while listening to others.
    You make an impression of a trustworthy and understanding person, and, thereby, you build deeper relationships with others.

  9. Don’t interrupt when someone is talking.
    This is actually the main factor in unsuccessful conversations.

  10. Smile more often.
    But smile honestly, with your eyes, not just your mouth.


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