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What are the disadvantages, if a person lacks communication skill?

Updated on June 13, 2008

Communication, a skill

I know you thought you understood what I said, but do you realize I didn't say what I mean? The vaguaries of efficient communication!

Both the speaker and the listener suffer when poor communication exists. Just a few examples below.

The nervous speaker: if a speaker is nervous they may feel awkward, with less confidence to their message, when they are aware that their skills are poor. Consequently, a feeling of self-consciousness may damage communications. Examples, students before their peers in the classroom; the speaker whose first language isn't English with English-speaking listeners; the speaker who knows they're burdened with a lisp, a stutter, or other speech impediment.

The "expert" speaker: Another example of poor communication occurs when an over-confident messenger may be speaking in ways his/her listener cannot easily understand. For example, an elderly patient with a young doctor that uses so many medical terms and labels that the doctor's message is now unintelligable to the listener.

The "industry" speaker: This is the speaker who is so addicted to the "language" of his/her profession that these unique terms carry over into their other discussions, lending an odd "tinge" to their communications. One of my personal pet peeves is trying to speak with someone from law enforcement...they seem so fond of the word "perpetrator." Really, don't use that word outside of the precinct office. The 80s movie with Eddie Murphy, Beverly Hills Cop did a hilarious job of spoofing fun at this syndrome. (And, for full disclosure, my husband tends to bring his "industry speak" into our everyday conversations--it's maddening! But, no, he's not in law enforcement)

Spoofing communication styles

The "discounted" speaker: If a speaker suffers from something as serious as cerebral palsy or as simple as a "foreign" accent...the intelligence, sincerity, or validity of their message is sometimes discounted by listeners. This is one of the lamest reasons for poor communication between speaker and listener as it usually reflects a "lazy" listener.

Now, for some communication barriers from the listener's situation:

When English-is-not-their-first-language listener: the listener has a difficult time understanding, and so much of the message can be lost. As they try to listen, are they processing a heavy accent, despite good vocabulary and syntax? Or are they trying to get the "true" message when the speaker's vocabulary is limited and suffers from poor syntax? Example: My daughter's first trip to New York City was often frustrating for her because although everyone was speaking English, there were so many accents she couldn't "hear" through! The cab driver from Jamaica, the hotel front-desk person who came from Israel, waiters from Italy, China, France, a manicurist from Germany. She'd never even considered that English could be so hard to understand!

Listener with a mumbler: When the speaker's words are heavily peppered with "uh" and "um" , communication can be lost.

Listener with a slanger: Perhaps the poor communication skill results from the habit of using too much slang or street talk...uh, like, uh, whassup? ya'know-what-I'm sayin' like, really, ya' know? Discerning the actual message can get lost from the prevalence of the unnecessary, distracting words tossed in!

Public speaking is listed as a major fear by more than 90% of Americans! It's a huge phobia...we would rather have a root canal than be asked to speak in public! Such is the pressure of being responsible for being a skilled communicator! Hillary, Barak and John and every minister and rabbi must have a gene missing somewhere to maintain their high degrees of skilled communications.

So, hope this describes some of the disadvantages when communication skills are lacking.


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    • profile image

      tina[waterhouse] 6 years ago

      this is very interesting and helpful to us young readers and students, this also has a positive effect on my life so thank you

    • profile image

      Ray 6 years ago

      Thank you so much Desert this is so educating. I would like to know the disadvantages of ineffective communication.

    • desert blondie profile image

      desert blondie 7 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

      To "kas k" ... You ask, what are the disadvantages of learning communication skills? I say None! The effort involved in learning good communication skills will be an asset in your life!

    • profile image

      kas k 7 years ago

      what are the disavantages of leraning communication skills

    • profile image

      sione 7 years ago

      Your tips helped me with my essay Thank u

    • profile image

      Collen 7 years ago

      i loved this hub...awesome work right there!!

    • desert blondie profile image

      desert blondie 8 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

      Thank you...I appreciate the compliment!

    • itcoll profile image

      itcoll 8 years ago

      great topic.i liked this hub.

    • mishuexpert profile image

      mishuexpert 8 years ago

      Nice hub. U rightly mention the disadvantages of having weekness in communication skill.


    • MissJamieD profile image

      MissJamieD 8 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      This is an amazing hub. I've been communicatively challenged my entire for your education and insight:)

    • desert blondie profile image

      desert blondie 9 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

      Thank you for the compliment! Glad you appreciated my views on this topic!

    • anjalichugh profile image

      anjalichugh 9 years ago from New York

      I have no words to praise. It's simply fantastic. The way you categorized the 'over confident' and the 'less confident', in one group (lacking ...skills), seemed to be an excellent observation.

    • desert blondie profile image

      desert blondie 9 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

      It takes tons of practise for most of us to overcome being a "nervous" speaker...thanks for stopping by!

    • sun goddess profile image

      sun goddess 9 years ago from davao city, philippines

      thanks... now i know why i oughta stick to writing... i'm a nervous speaker... :)

    • desert blondie profile image

      desert blondie 9 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

      Thanks, Mtsandeep, for stopping by. Checked out your hub...nice tips!

    • mtsandeep profile image

      mtsandeep 9 years ago from india


    • desert blondie profile image

      desert blondie 10 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

      Hope some of these examples show that poor communication can occur in many different situations, and for many different reasons.

    • Trsmd profile image

      Trsmd 10 years ago from India

      Thanks for posting my request..