There are lots of communication mistakes we make at work and at home. Mistakes are defined as actions or judgements that are misguided or wrong. Let’s focus on the word “misguided” for a second. Misguided implies that one is not doing the action out of malicious motives. What misguided actions are you taking in your communication?
According to this Mindtools.com article, there are 10 common communication mistakes people make at work. Six of those ten include:
1.Not editing or proofreading your work
If you are like me, it isn’t that you don’t edit or proofread, it’s just that you miss errors that are staring you right in the face. If this is your issue, get an editor. Incorporate the time it takes to have someone proofread your work into the project forecast. Not editing communicates apathy and a lack of professionalism, whether you mean to portray this or not.
2. Delivering bad news by email or text
Have you seen the new FedEx commercial about the guy who communicates bad news by email? If not, click here to watch it. The boss comes in with good news and his employees whisper how he only delivers good news in person and bad news in email. It is a funny commercial to watch, but it isn’t funny to the person receiving the news. Give bad news in person or by phone if you can’t get to them in person.
3. Avoiding difficult conversations
Hard conversations are a necessary part of growth. You have to have feedback in order to grow and get better. Avoiding this necessary step will cripple your growth and the growth of your team.
4. Not being assertive
Women tend to have an issue with this at work, while men tend to have an issue with this at home. For the woman at work, it’s not speaking up in a meeting or presenting her idea with confidence. For the man at home, it is not speaking up about having his own method of doing the dishes or getting the kids dressed that is different from their wife. In both cases, the reason for not being assertive is fear of repercussion. They know that if they speak up, someone will shoot down their idea. They key here is to get into the habit of making your choices and preferences known. Just because someone doesn’t like your idea, that doesn’t mean it is bad or that you shouldn’t continue to present your point of view.
5. Reacting not responding
When the doctor taps your knee in the a certain spot, it automatically reacts. It is involuntary and unless there is something medically wrong, you can’t help it. Reactions are usually instantaneous. Responses come after thought, not before. Take time to think through what you want to say, how to say it, and the consequences of it before responding. You will save yourself a lot of time and apologies.
6. Poor preparation
So many people say they perform best under pressure, but rarely is that that case. You perform best when you are prepared. If you are giving a presentation, take the time to prepare your slides, notes, and/or talking points. Poor preparation wastes time and diminishes impact. Preparation communications maturity and “pride of ownership”.
Which of these communication mistakes do you tend to make? Please leave your comment below.