7 Communication Mistakes We All Make
Communication skills are an important ability in all industries but there are companies where it is the core capability. For example, it is a crucial asset in the event organization business. You need to communicate effectively with your superior, team and clients on a daily basis. They are all different and may have various expectations. As a result, you have to address them with the individual approach. Here is a set of 10 top communication mistakes and ways to avoid them.
We focus on us, not on the interlocutor
Every time you speak to somebody you pay attention to your needs and overflood your conversational partner with a series of sentences. Remember that each chat should be friendly and look like a dialog between individuals. Firstly, set the purpose of the discourse. Topic should be clear. If you have multiple aspects to touch upon start with the agenda. Do not forget to ask about the other person opinion, expectations and ideas. This info may be very precious.
We do not inform timely about important changes
Pay attention to change management. It is very important to inform your colleagues and client about and difficulties or amendments. If it is possible to try to plan ahead and construct a step by step procedure. Decide who should be informed about these issues and reach out to all parties. Be ready with a solution. This may make the whole process smoother and less stressful. It also shows that you are a professional and will be rewarded with respect for your organizational skills.
We get in touch rarely or too often
A contact frequency is a very sensitive issue. It is difficult to tell what is the best solution here. It all depends on the project and your client or team preferences. Let’s start with the first one. If you don’t want to end up with tons of emails and calls set a routine for regular project updates. Inform your client about the progress, delays or changes. Make them feel you have everything under control and deal with difficulties in a professional matter. Regarding your team, you should ask them about any successes, issues or difficulties at least once a week. You should remind about deadlines and support them if there are any unexpected troubles. Do not forget to praise them for a good job though some things may have got a little out of hand.
We deliver bad news by email
If there is an unexpected change, alert or a pitfall, you need to let your client and colleagues know about its soon as possible. Do not let bad emotions escalate. Try to come up with the solution and communicate it quickly to all parties. Choose a direct contact and if that’s not possibly arrange a video call. The worst thing is to pass bad news by email. Why is it a poor idea? It does not enable you or the recipient to react and confront opinions easily. You also have less control over somebody’s feelings.
We react emotionally, not rationally
In a professional environment, you should keep emotions for yourself. However, at the same time, you need to act in a natural way. It is all about finding the balance between your private self and the professional one. Remember that anytime emotions are on the rise you are the one to cool them down. Any emotional outbursts move your interlocutors out of their comfort zones. In case there is some misunderstanding or difficulty, try to stick to rational arguments. Explain what is your standpoint and why. Make space for the other person comments and respond to them in a calm way. If you miss a knock-out line of reasoning, give yourself time to think it over and promise to get back to it at a set date.
We assume that our message has been understood
Recipient’s role is only to acknowledge what the speaker says. That is why your message needs to be swift and clear. It is not recipient’s role to ask many questions in order to get to the point. Your communication needs to be transparent and direct. Otherwise, you will both end up with a misunderstanding. It is your responsibility to double check if your message has been understood correctly. The last step is sending a chat summary via mail. In case there is some confusion in future you have a proof on your mailbox you can refer to.
We violate someone’s privacy accidentally
I guess it has happened to each of us at least once in a lifetime. You have sent the wrong message or document to a given recipient and are now afraid of consequences. If this data is confidential or sensitive you should react quickly and ask a sender to delete them asap. If you suspect there might be an interest between the original receiver and the actual one you need to report that to your supervisor. You might need a lawyer’s advice.