Avoid business communication mistakes and misunderstandings
Having great communication skills is crucial for everyone in the professional world. Communication is definitely not only about the words you say; you can have an excellent vocabulary and still be a bad communicator. While some people are naturally gifted when it comes to communication, others need to work on it in order to be viewed as potential leaders and get promoted into top jobs. Even the best of us sometimes make communicate mistakes, miss the point, cause an unintentional reaction, or avoid a messy discussion altogether. Who hasn’t left a discussion thinking that things went into the wrong direction? The good news is that it’s a universal struggle. Akhtaboot reveals some of the common communication mistakes at the workplace and what you can do to avoid them.
Mistake #1 – Not Editing Your Work
When it comes to written communication, spelling and grammar mistakes can make you look careless and unprofessional. That’s why it is essential to check all of your work-related emails, messages, chats, before you send them. Don’t rely on spell checkers; they won’t pick up words that are used incorrectly or phrases that don’t make real sense. Instead, proofread your work more than once, use a dictionary if you’re unsure of some words and you may even read your work out loud as it makes it easier to catch typos and wrong sentences.
Mistake #2 – Body Language Miscommunications
Most of us think that communication is mostly done through words or in writing. This is not actually the case as body language including your hand movements, eyes and facial expressions say things louder than your mouth. Using body language inappropriately can send mixed signals to those who pick up those hints. An employee who does not understand body language, for example, may not notice a client’s slightly raised eyebrows and wandering eyes during a meeting, which would cause him to miss the fact that the client is feeling uncomfortable, wary or distant. Another Important move that you need to mind, is that crossing your arms while someone is speaking can send signals that your mind is closed to what they are saying, regardless of whether that is actually the case or not. Mind your body language so as not to cause any misunderstandings.
Mistake #3 – Avoiding Difficult Conversations
At some point in your career, you will need to give negative feedback or bad news to one of your peers, your subordinates or even your boss. It is surely tempting to avoid these conversations, but this might cause further problems if you decide to hide it. When it comes to such scenarios, preparation is important. Learn to give clear, actionable and constructive feedback to the person you’re addressing, without insulting them as a person.
Mistake #4 – Not Keeping an Open Mind When Meeting New People
Today’s workplace is a mix of people from different ages, religions, ethnicities and backgrounds. These differences create a rich environment of experiences and opinions that greatly enhance your working life. However, it can be tempting to stereotype people unintentionally, or to make assumptions about them based on just a few pieces of information. Assumptions stand in the way of open communication, because you don’t consider the other person’s own unique background, personality and experience. Over time, this can jeopardize your relationship with them. Learn to have an open mind, listen, give the person in front of you the space to talk and express their opinions.