Attributes and Barriers

Personal Attributes valued by employers

Specific skills and general attributes that employers want

  • Effective communication: Employers seek people who follow instructions and not need much help to do so. They want employees who speak, write, and listen effectively, and explain everything clearly.

  • Interpersonal abilities: Relationship-building and relationship-management are high priorities with many employers. These skills confirm that a candidate can relate well to others, both co-workers and customers.

  • Problem-solving & Creativity: Employers are always looking people who can solve problems. The ability to solve problems can aid you with a multitude of tasks and challenges that might fall upon you. Employers need the assurance that you can deal with these challenges by thinking critically and creatively.
  • Teamwork skills: These skills are almost always a favorite amongst employers, being that you usually have to work along colleagues .

  • Sensitivity to diversity: The ability to accept and be sensitive towards other cultures, ethnic groups and religions is vital in today's world in order to build and maintain a healthy multicultural workplace.

  • Planning and organizational skills: Being organized is vital in order to prioritize work and make sure you meet targets for your specific job. Employers value those with such skills.

  • Knowledge of First Aid and Health & Safety: Being in the know when it comes to this could literally be life and death. All employers will see great value in someone who has these skills as every workplace requires some people have them.
  • Leadership and management ability: To lead you must have self confidence and a detailed knowledge of company targets. With these qualities you can effectively manage a group of workers and create productive teamwork.

  • Computer skills: Most jobs now require at least basic understanding of computer software, word processing, e-mail, spreadsheets, and Internet navigation.

Desirable Attitudes

  • Adaptability and flexibility: Being able to adapt and stretch to fit certain challenges is vital in a modern workplace and is highly rated amongst employers. Being able to change speed when required,multitasking, adapting working hours and locale are all well sought after attributes.

  • Professionalism and work ethic: Employers want people who have a good work ethic and maintain a high degree of professionalism.

  • Positive attitude: Having a positive attitude shows an employer that you are a stable, emotionally mature person. Even if you aren't, you can still pretend.


General communication skills

  • Know who you are talking to: You should know a few basics about the person you are talking to in order to establish an effective rapport and working communication. You must recognize differences in their
    • ethnicity: Being respectful and sensitive towards ethnic diversity will avoid any tensions that may arise between you and who you are communicating with.
    • knowledge: Not everyone might know as much you in a certain field, be sure to know if they do or not, so you can adjust what you say and how you say it accordingly.
  • Use technological aids: If appropriate, you can present your ideas via a presentation using a projector. This will help you show the idea you are presenting by offering a visual stimulus.

Interpersonal skills

  • Verbal communication : The ability to successfully and clearly communicate with someone via the use of spoken word is clearly and obviously a very key trait to possess.
  • Lip reading and sign language: Being able to lip read and sign is a very good asset to have as this can aid communication between one or more people who are hard of hearing.
  • Multilingual ability: Possessing knowledge of a different language helps communicate with people who may not speak your native language.
  • Positive and negative language: The use of positive and negative language can be used to exploit certain scenarios and situations. For example, to evoke emotion in the audience.
  • Body Language : Mastering body language can add a subtle strength to your communication skills, most successful public speakers use exaggerated gestures to this.

Communication in writing

  • Letters, faxes and Emails: Although the modern world mainly calls for use of Emails. faxes and letters still retain certain uses. Emails are a brilliant and speedy way to convey with anyone in the world providing they have an internet connection, failing this you can send a fax. Other reasons to send faxes include security (it's much harder to tap a phone line than to steal an unencrypted email) and legislative (some countries' laws do not recognize electronic signatures). The older principle of sending a letter is useful for reaching the widest audience, sending a letter is the closest to being certain you can be that a person will receive your correspondence (providing they have a fixed address).
  • Relevance: When writing something, you must maintain relevant to the point you are trying to communicate. It is useful to remember that reading is less engaging than being spoken to, so when you are writing something to someone you must not stray from relevance or you could risk losing the reader's attention.
  • Proof-reading, spelling and grammar: What and how you write can say a lot about you are as a person. Don't make a bad impression by using incorrect grammar and spelling; no one ever hated someone for being grammatically correct, right? Proof-reading is an excellent way of spotting any errors you have made, but even better is to get someone else to check it for you, if you have no friends willing to do this, then there is plenty of software available which will offer you basic spell and grammar checks.

Barriers to Effective Communication


  • Background Noise: Background noise is a nuisance. Trying to communicate in certain places which has lots of this can severely harm communication. Background noises are things such as loud chatter, traffic, aeroplanes, trains, conditioning units in buildings; the list could span an eternity. Regardless of the noise itself, all background noise is bad.
  • Distractions: Distractions are rife in today's world; whether it be blowing up tanks on your computer, crushing candy on your smart phones or sending your buddy some really funny emojis, distractions are everywhere. To help sustain effective communication, you must make an effort to avoid these, or make sure those who work for you cant reach them. Distractions can interrupt the flow of thought in an audience or completely throw the train of thought off the rails as everybody within earshot is deafened by your really original 'dixie' text tone.
  • Language: Parlez-vous français?... Maybe you should have listened in French. Being able to speak multiple languages expands your potential audience and removes the need for a translator which means you can better establish a rapport and relationship with the audience.
  • Physical barriers: Having a physical barrier between you and an audience is quite a problem. If the audience cannot see you, they cannot see gestures,non-verbal cues, posture and general body language; this can make communication less effective.
  • Location: Where you communicate is very important. You need to have an appropriate setting, for example, you wouldn't hold an executive board meeting in a strip club. You must ensure the place you are delivering a speech or holding a meeting doesn't have: too many distractions, background noises, poor furnishing and bad lighting, as they can all cause people to become irritated and annoyed. This can effect communications in a very negative fashion.
  • Lack of Concentration: Lack of concentration can occur for a few reasons. Distractions being one, as well as long presentations such as business meetings. Things like meetings and presentations can become tedious and cause a drop in concentration so it is vital you take action against this.

Reducing the impact of barriers

  • Background Noise: To reduce background noise, you can invest in certain preventative measures such as double-glazing on windows to reduce outside noise getting in. Also, buying better air conditioning units that make less noise and also using as much soft furnishing around a workspace that help absorb sound can be of a help.
  • Distractions: Removing distractions is important. You should mute devices so that they don't beep whilst in a meeting, place a "Meeting in Progress" sign above the door so that other people do not enter whilst somebody is talking and close all unnecessary programs so that no pop ups occur.
  • Language: Communicating with someone who cannot speak the same language of you can be helped by either learning a language or hiring a translator.
  • Physical Barriers: Physical barriers can be avoided by carefully planning where you will deliver your speech, or by moving them. If this is not possible then you could possibly use technology (such as video call) to be as involved as possible without actually being there.
  • Location: You should plan ahead and make sure where you choose to hold a meeting or presentation is suitable. You should ensure that there will be no distractions, that the venue is well lit and comfortable. You would probably want to go there before hand to judge this in person for the most reliable method of choosing location.
  • Lack of concentration: Lack of concentration can be avoided by not holding long meetings, instead hold shorter meetings more frequently. Also, by making your presentations a little bit more exciting and engaging.