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Five Communication Mistakes That Are Holding You Back

https://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2011/07/15/five-communication-mistakes-that-are-holding-you-back/

forbes.com

Five Communication Mistakes That Are Holding You Back
There's just something about communications that's harder than it should be. Of all the skills we develop as leaders and professionals, communicating is one that we've been practicing since birth. And yet it often gets in our way, causes stress, and leaves us at a loss.

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Failing to ask for clarification

Failing to ask for clarification

Not asking for clarification because of fear of looking incompetent in front of authority.

FIX: If you don't understand what success looks like, ask for clarification, specifics or examples. If you ask well-informed questions, you'll look a whole lot smarter than if you execute incorrectly.

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Not framing your remarks

In general, the higher up the audience, the less detail you should be providing. Frequently, executives get tuned out when they report to higher levels and provide too much detail about their topic.

FIX: Cater your comments to the highest level person in the room, and address what he or she will find valuable. Put the details in an appendix or have them ready so they're available, and you can easily pull them out if asked.

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Littering your speech with qualifiers

Using qualifiers such as "I think" or "we might" or "I hope to" before your points. It lacks confidence.

FIX: Start paying attention to how you use language, and if you're hiding behind qualifiers. Tape yourself or ask a colleague to take note of when you use them, and find a comfortable phrase to replace them such as "I plan to" or "I will."

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Being negative to appear analytical

This norm serves a great purpose in that bad ideas can be debated and debunked. However, it also kills a lot of good ideas as well. 

FIX: Stop yourself from first pointing out what's wrong in a situation, and make it a habit to jump to what's right instead. 

If an idea is simply rotten, say how much you appreciate the thought or effort, and explain why you feel it falls short and how it can be improved. If you kill it, provide an alternative.

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Being overly agreeable

This occurs when we want so much to be a likable team player that we come across as a yes person. Every idea is great, each deadline is possible, and new projects are all upside.

FIX: When you find yourself tempted to state agreement even though you don't feel it, express your true opinion. You can still say this politely, and rather than simply say what you can't do, let the person know what you can do, and believe to be the best solution for all.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Dropping “Hints”

It shows that you two are not comfortable communicating openly and clearly with one another. 

State your feelings and desires openly. And make it clear that the other person is not ne...

Holding the Relationship Hostage

For example, if someone feels like you’ve been cold to them, instead of saying, “I feel like you’re being cold sometimes,” they will say, “I can’t date someone who is cold to me." 

It’s crucial for both people in a relationship to know that negative thoughts and feelings can be communicated safely to one another without it threatening the relationship itself. 

Blaming Your Partner

... for your own emotions. This is a subtle form of selfishness and a classic example of the poor maintenance of personal boundaries. Take responsibility for your own emotions and expect your partner to be responsible for theirs. 

3 more ideas

Effective communication

... is imperative for every successful business. Poor communication inevitably causes misunderstandings, confusion and conflicts that hinder productivity and professi...

Effective Communication is vital in business

  • It helps to create effective brand messaging.  It determines how your brand is perceived and also builds trust with customers.
  • Customer service relies on good communication. "60% of consumers have stopped doing business with a brand due to a poor customer service experience."  Microsoft’s 2016 Global State of Customer Service Report.
  • It enables positive team relationships.  Effective communication helps to unite teams and create a safe environment to express themselves.
  • It helps to prevent misunderstandings and conflicts. It can help to defuse a potentially explosive dispute while bad communication can set it off.

Worst Communication Mistakes

  1. Using a One-Size-Fits-All Communication Approach. Tailor the communication style to the intended audience.
  2. Speaking More and Listening Less. Listen to what is said, how it is said, and to what is not said.
  3. Assuming Instead of Asking More Questions.
  4. Using Negative Tone. Choose words carefully to eliminate negative reactions.
  5. Avoiding Difficult Conversations.

  6. Reacting, Not Responding.

  7. Not Keeping an Open Mind. Accept and respect differences, listen without judgment and consider all sides of an issue.

Personal Mission Statement

It consists of thinking long and hard about your life and work. Write down everything that is on your mind, then consider what is most important.

  • You want to know where you want to go...

Acknowledging Progress

Progress can sometimes feel like endless staircases where you climb and climb, but can never see the end.

A personal mission statement allows you to look back and see how far you've climbed.

Putting Things Into Perspective

A personal mission statement reminds you where you're coming from and puts your life in perspective. When you feel frustrated, you can go back and read how much you've progressed over a specific time.